Key Cisco Player Exits Company

Once seen as a possible successor to Chambers, Mike Volpi leaves his position as head of the vendor's router business.

February 13, 2007

2 Min Read
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Cisco announced this week Mike Volpi, senior vice president and general manager of the company's Routing and Service Provider Technology Group, is resigning his position to pursue other opportunities. Although exactly what those opportunities are remain a mystery, news reports say Volpi is not stepping down to take a job with a competitor. Volpi's resignation was effective immediately, however, the 13-year Cisco employee reportedly promises to aid the company with the transition.

Speculation abounds that Volpi left because it appeared less likely over time that he would ascend to CEO, the position John Chambers currently holds. Volpi's resignation also comes as is Cisco reorganizing its business units. However, Volpi insists his decision was not driven by anything happening within the company and that he was not asked to leave Cisco. Instead, he has alluded to a desire to create a business of his own.

As the head of the service provider group, Volpi has built the organization into a thriving unit around products such as the CRS-1 IP router that carriers use to expand their networks. The service provider organization took in employees and products from the $6.9 billion purchase of Scientific-Atlanta in 2006.

Before Volpi assumed his most recent role at Cisco, he was oversaw the company's busy acquisition strategy. During a seven-year period ending in 2001, Volpi managed dozens of acquisitions.

Although analysts describe Volpi's resignation as significant, most believe the company will make it through the transition with little trouble. Tony Bates and Pankaj Patel, a pair of senior vice presidents who worked for Volpi, will manage the group which Cisco has rechristened the Service Provider Technology Group.


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