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Cisco Videoscape chief resigns

Company still committed to Internet TV strategy

By Jim Duffy on Thu, 08/04/11 - 12:52pm.

First, Cisco hears calls for it to divest its Scientific-Atlanta cable set-top box business, which it acquired for $7 billion in 2005. Then, Cisco sells a set-top box plant in Mexico, and with it 5,000 jobs.

Now, word comes that the leader of Cisco's Videoscape strategy, a key initiative in the company's overall video push, has resigned after only a year on the job. Enrique Rodriguez, who came to Cisco from Microsoft to head the Service Provider Video Technology Group, left the company this week according to reports in LightReading, CRN and Multichannel News.

Rodriguez was spearheading Cisco's Videoscape initiative, an Internet TV strategy unveiled early this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Videoscape utilizes cloud computing, IP networking and client devices and software to deliver Internet-based video services. In the home, Videoscape includes a media gateway to integrate voice, video, high-speed data, Wi-Fi and network traffic routing; an IP set-top box to support all forms of video delivered to a TV, including pay TV, broadcast channels, premium channels, video-on-demand and Web; and client software for home and mobile devices, including TVs, tablets and smartphones.

The future of Videoscape was already ripe for speculation when Cisco retreated from the consumer market a few months ago to focus more on its core routing and switching businesses; and then when Cisco sold its set-top box plan in Mexico in an effort to reduce costs by reducing headcount and divesting itself of non-core operations.

Now, Rodriguez's departure casts a bit of a pall over Videoscape. Cisco says the initiative is still strategic; Rodriguez's duties have been shifted to Marthin De Beer, senior vice president of Cisco's Emerging Business Group, who now oversees the company's service provider and enterprise video operations, according to the reports.

Said Cisco in a statement:

"We believe this move will spur innovation and synergies across Cisco's end-to-end video portfolio, which spans service provider, enterprise and consumer networks, and enable Cisco and our customers to introduce compelling new video services, applications and experiences with speed and agility."

Cisco is seeking a replacement for Rodriguez, according to Light Reading.

UPDATE: This post on Greentech says Cisco may be backing out of the building management market it entered with the 2009 acquisition of Richards-Zeta. Richards-Zeta CEO and visionary Ed Richards left Cisco and the company appears to be reconsidering its building management product.

A number of high-profile Cisco executives have left the company in recent months as it restructures and streamlines operations, and refocuses on core strengths in routing and switching.

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