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Cisco reorganizes engineering in a big way; veteran Ahuja out

Cisco engineering reorg emphasizes strategic importance of networking, IoT, cloud, security

Cisco reorganizes engineering; veteran Ahuja out

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins has himself a handful of new direct reports from the company's reorganized engineering ranks

Credit: GSMA

Cisco, which kicked off 2016 with news that the leader of its engineering troops would soon be leaving the company, has now undertaken a major reorganization of that same group and disclosed another high-profile departure.

The company announced internally that the moves, designed to better align engineering with Cisco business priorities under new-ish CEO Chuck Robbins, include the exit of 18-year veteran and Service Provider leader Kelly Ahuja. Cisco did not say where Ahuja might be headed, but did say he will be replaced by Yvette Kanouff, who will lead an expanded Service Provider organization. Kanouff joined Cisco in 2014 from Cablevision and has been Cisco's SVP and GM, Cloud Solutions.

CEO Robbins took the reins from longtime Cisco leader John Chambers in July and has gradually been putting his executive team in place.

MORE: Meet the real Chuck Robbins, Cisco's new CEO

For now, Robbins will still have EVP Pankaj Patel on that team, leading the company's Networking, Market Segments & Solutions organization, which now includes the expanded Service Provider business. Pankaj, as chief development officer, has been overseeing Cisco's 26,000-strong engineering force, but as disclosed in January, he will be leaving the company after 19 years in the second half of 2016.

Patel's group will be one of four engineering businesses reporting directly to Robbins via the Executive Leadership Team. The others:

*Security, led by David Goeckeler;

*IoT & Applications, led by Rowan Trollope;

*Cloud Services & Platforms, led by Zorawar Biri Singh, who is also being asked to work closely with star engineers on the Cisco next generation data center team (a.k.a. "MPLS" team).  Also, Liz Centoni is being promoted to SVP and will lead the Computing Systems Product Group within this organization (Centoni was named one of the Top Women in Cloud last year by the non-profit CloudNOW consortium).

Business Insider reports that this is a copy of the email Robbins sent within Cisco of the reorganization.

Cisco's last big engineering reorganization took place back in 2014.

MORE INSIGHT: Analyst Zeus Kerravala weighs in on Cisco re-org

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