Cisco Reorganizes Massive Engineering Group

The teams will be divided into four units focusing on networking, cloud service, security and the IoT, which officials see as important to customers.

Cisco reorganization

Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins continues to remake the company less than a year after taking the reins from longtime chief executive John Chambers, most recently by reorganizing the vendors huge engineering unit.

The 25,000-person engineering group will now be divided among four new areas that Robbins and other Cisco executives see as the most important to the company's continued growth. The new teams will be in networking, cloud services and platforms, the Internet of things (IoT) and applications, and security.

The heads of all the units will report directly to Robbins.

In an email Robbins sent to employees March 21 that was obtained by Business Insider, the CEO said that the decision to realign the engineering teams was driven in large part by conversations he has had with customers throughout the globe that are undergoing tremendous change brought on by the digitization of business. These companies are trying to keep up with rapid changes and the need to become more agile while driving down costs.

"Coming out of these conversations, it has become very clear that we must be organized to best align to our customers' needs within this ever-changing environment," Robbins wrote. "Our customers' priorities have always been core to all we do at Cisco, and that is true now more than ever."

Among the casualties of the reorganization is Kelly Ahuja, an 18-year veteran of Cisco and the lead executive of the service provider team. Ahuja will be replaced by Yvette Kanouff. For the time being, Kanouff will report to Pankaj Patel, executive vice president and chief development officer. However, Patel, who has been with Cisco for 19 years, announced in January that he is leaving the company in the second half of the year.

Patel also will lead the new Networking, Market Segments and Solutions unit.

Zorawar Biri Singh, senior vice president and CTO for the Platforms and Solutions unit, will oversee the new Cloud Services and Platforms team. He also will oversee the company's strategy around next-generation data centers and work with the Insieme team, which works on Cisco's Nexus 9000 switches, which are a key part of the company's larger network virtualization strategy.

"Data and data fabrics are also a vital asset in the future of cloud first, hybrid IT environments," Robbins wrote in his email. "We must enable our customers with intelligent, analytics software platforms that take real time insights from their networks through their end-user experiences to drive actionable business outcomes."

David Goeckeler, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Security Business Group, will continue to lead the security business, while Rowan Trollope, senior vice president and general manager of the company's Collaboration Technology Group, will lead the IoT and Applications team.

"The Internet of Things is essential to our digitization strategy, and is a key pillar of growth for our future," Robbins wrote.

Cisco has seen an array of longtime executives leave the company since Robbins was named CEO. Among those who have left are Rob Lloyd and Padmasree Warrior.