A second top Cisco Systems executive resigned Thursday, but the high-flying
networking giant said the loss is not a sign it is suffering a brain drain.
Gary Daichendt, Cisco's executive vice president of worldwide operations, has
left the company after six years to spend more time with his family, the
company said Thursday. Daichendt's resignation follows the August departure of executive vice president
Don Listwin, who left Cisco to become chief executive of Phone.com, now called
Daichendt's resignation leaves Cisco chief executive John Chambers minus the two top executives he began the year with. But the company said in a statement
that other executives at Cisco will pick up the slack and that the transition has been in the works for several months.
Senior vice presidents Rick Justice and Carl Redfield will assume Daichendt's
duties and report directly to Chambers. Justice runs worldwide sales and
manufacturing, while Redfield handles worldwide manufacturing operations.
"I am confident that the quality leadership team that Gary has developed for
both sales and manufacturing will ensure a smooth transition and positive
momentum for our customers, employees, partners and suppliers," Chambers said in a statement.
After Listwin's departure, Chambers assumed some of his duties
and Kevin Kennedy, senior vice president for Cisco's service
provider line of business, also took on a greater role.
Analyst Erik Suppiger of Chase Hambrecht & Quist said the recent exits by the two top
executives are a concern for investors but that Cisco's strong management team can weather the departures. Cisco executives have predicted strong financial results for the
upcoming quarter and beyond.
"Cisco still has an impressive, solid management team. And they have all
themselves and demonstrated strong execution," said Suppiger.
Listwin, a 10-year veteran of Cisco, was thought to be a likely successor to
Chambers, though there has been no indication that Chambers will relinquish
duties anytime soon. Chambers has regularly stated that he didn't have a No. 2
executive and would not designate a successor until a year before his
Cisco has also been attracting executives to work for the company. Cisco last
week lured an AT&T executive to
tackle the telecommunications equipment business.
Former AT&T executive Hossein Eslambolchi, 42, joined Cisco as senior vice
president of service provider solutions. He reports to Kennedy, another former