Cisco's De Beer takes leave to tend to ailing relative

Yearlong departure comes as his video and collaboration businesses struggle

Cisco's video and collaboration chief is taking a yearlong leave of absence from the company. Marthin De Beer is taking time off to tend to an ailing relative, according to Cisco.

"Unfortunately Marthin has a very sick family member and has decided to take a yearlong leave of absence starting this month," said David McCulloch, a Cisco spokesperson, in an e-mailed statement.

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As Senior Vice President and General Manager of Video and Collaboration, De Beer was overseeing two businesses that have been struggling at Cisco. In the first quarter of Cisco's 2014 fiscal year, service provider video declined 14% from last year while collaboration was up only 1%.

Service provider video was just less than $1 billion in the $12.1 billion quarter while collaboration was a bit over $1 billion. Much of the decline in service provider video revenue was aided by a 20% dive in set-top box revenue in Q1.

De Beer spearheaded many of Cisco's moves into adjacent markets to its core routing and switching businesses by forecasting and investing in market transitions.

According to a report in Bloomberg, which apparently obtained a De Beer memo explaining his leave to colleagues, the executive's reports will now be managed by Pankaj Patel, executive vice president and chief development officer.

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