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Ex-Cisco IoT Chief Goes to Chinese Green Tech Firm

Guido Jouret's departure after 20 years with Cisco comes just weeks before another company veteran, Dave Evans, leaves to head up a startup.

Internet of things

The executive who headed up Cisco Systems' Internet of things strategy has taken a job with a Chinese green energy company.

Guido Jouret, a 20-year veteran of the networking vendor and vice president and general manager of Cisco's Internet of things business unit, left the company earlier this month, but neither he nor Cisco said where he was going. This week, Envision Energy, a solar- and wind-power company in China, announced that Jouret will head up a Silicon Valley innovation lab. He also will oversee a $100 million investment fund.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Jouret in a letter spoke about the environmental issues facing the world and the role technology will play in dealing with the issues,

"By 2030, the world will need 40% more energy and 50% of people will struggle to find clean, fresh sources of drinking water," he wrote. "Half the ground water in China is unsafe to drink. Sadly, the list goes on. We need more innovation focused on solving these problems."

News of Jouret's destination came just as another veteran Cisco executive working on the company's Internet of things (IoT) effort left to head up a startup that is still in stealth mode. Cisco "futurist" Dave Evans, who had been at Cisco for 24 years—longer than CEO John Chambers—was a key driver of the company's direction, including the IoT, which he has been talking about for two years.

Chambers and other company executives are calling the IoT—or what they refer to as the Internet of everything—the most significant transition in the tech industry since the Internet. The IoT refers to the move to put more intelligence into systems and devices—from automobiles and appliances to traffic lights, manufacturing systems and televisions—and connect them to the Internet, where they will generate and share massive amounts of data.

Cisco officials believe the IoT will mean as much as $19 trillion to businesses worldwide by 2020. They intend for Cisco to supply the foundational technology on which the IoT will run.