Ex-Cisco Exec McCool Takes Over as Firetide CEO

John McCool also will join the board of directors of Firetide, which offers technologies for wireless mesh networks.

Cisco Systems' former executive in charge of its broad Borderless Networks strategy is now the CEO of Firetide, which sells wireless mesh networking equipment.

John McCool left Cisco last month after more than a decade with the networking giant, most recently as its chief technology officer and senior vice president of the company's Global Enterprise Segment. Cisco introduced the Borderless Networks initiative several years, offering a range of technologies and solutions that enable organizations to create mesh network infrastructures to allow users to access networks anytime from any place and with any device.

Cisco executives have said that the strategy is about making the network less device-centric and more user-centric, and taking tasks—from wireless to security to video traffic—traditionally found on disparate appliances and putting them directly onto the network through switches and routers.

While at Cisco, McCool also at one point served as senior vice president and general manager of the company's Data Center, Switch and Services group, overseeing the switching and L4-7 services businesses.

Now he will take command of a 10-year-old company that specializes in technology for wireless mesh networks, which lend themselves to a variety of workloads, from video surveillance and mobility applications to the growth of sensor-based networks that are creating what is becoming known as the Internet of Things.

"The demand to connect advanced sensors, control equipment and video to the Internet in industrial environments is surging," McCool said in a statement. "This represents a rare opportunity for any company that can lead in delivering next-generation mesh networks that provide high-bandwidth and low-latency connectivity to both fixed and mobile assets. I think Firetide is that company."

Firetide's mesh network offerings enable organizations to create a wireless mesh foundation for both indoor and outdoor systems. The company's HotPort mesh networks include HotPort mesh nodes, HotPoint access points, HotClient on-premises hardware and HotView network management software. It also includes the Firetide Mobility Controller and Firetide WLAN Controller. Using the technology, businesses can use multiple network services and Ethernet devices to create a wireless mesh network, according to Firetide officials.

They said the company's AutoMesh technology—which enables users to reliably and securely view live, high-bandwidth video feeds in a low-latency environment—is a key differentiator for the vendor. Firetide officials are looking to McCool to help the company expand its reach.

"John understands how to build and scale a global business, and he brings a dynamic blend of management experience and technology depth," Andy Ludwick, a Firetide board member, co-founder of SynOptics and former CEO of Bay Networks, said in a statement.

Firetide, which is headquartered in Los Gatos, Calif., reportedly has more than 10,000 customers in 40 countries, including the Thailand Royal Irrigation Department, for which the company built the world's longest mesh network. More recently, Atlanta's police department deployed a Firetide wireless mesh video surveillance network that was used for traffic control and the protection of fans during the NCAA Final Four basketball tournament in March.

Along with taking over as CEO, McCool also will join Firetide's board of directors. Before his time with Cisco, McCool worked with SynOptics, Advanced Micro Devices and NeXT Computer.