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Leaked internal memo details Cisco Chief Technology and Architecture Office (CTAO) shake-up

"The company has handed us an unprecedented opportunity that I plan on putting everything I have into making it successful and advocating for your work."

New York City:   Thu, 8/28/14 - 4:44pm    View comments

Cisco Systems, Inc.
170 Tasman Drive
San Jose, CA 95134-1706

Phone: 408 526-4000
Fax: 408 526-4100


I'm sending this note to explain the new Leadership Team and organizational strategy for the Chief Technology and Architecture Office (CTAO).

We are chartered to drive Cisco technology and architecture vision & strategy; drive architectural fidelity; manage advanced and common use-inspired research and development; and catalyze innovation across CDO, industry, academia, and Open Source communities.

Our plans are to work via cross-functional engagements, close customer interactions, and external out-reach; which in turn enables business opportunities, disruptive innovation transitions, and the capture of customer mindshare. Our clear target is as always to build a bigger and better Internet.

The CTAO organization will align around the following pillars:

  1. Architectural Strategy and Governance:

    Drive an architectural strategy for simplification and consolidation and implement across CDO.

  2. Technology Leadership:

    Lead technology vision and strategy development in tight partnership with CTO's and technical leaders across CDO.

  3. Evangelism and Engagement with the Internet community:

    Relentless engagement with customers and externally facing programs to promote our solutions and solve customer and big Internet problems.

  4. Innovation, Incubation and Use-Inspired Research:

    Lead a culture of innovation for CDO, extend our research avenues by leveraging academia, customers, and partners, and incubate the most promising technologies.

The CTAO team has expanded and will now include the following leaders and teams:
  • John Apostolopoulos: John and his team will drive the technology strategy and architectural directions in collaboration with the segment, platform and software groups and build the Innovation Labs to drive innovative projects and use-inspired research.
  • John Chapman: John and his group are responsible for strategy, architecture, innovation and vision primarily for the Cable Industry.
  • Phil Harris: Phil and team will develop the next generation of Orchestration, Assurance and Decision Support technologies through advanced prototyping, early stage customer proof of concepts and partnering opportunities.
  • Alain Fiocco: Alain continues leadership on IPv6 and will be joined with others from NOSTG to expand scope and influence across CTAO organizational pillars. He'll also work to drive innovation and technology with beachhead customers primarily in EMEAR.
  • Guillaume de Saint Marc (GSM):This team, focuses around SP video, incubates and develops new technologies, breakthrough product concepts or disruptive industry approaches in order to bring new solutions to market.
  • Pat Tittiranonda: This group drives thought leadership in cloud-based multi-screen entertainment experiences, visual analytics, connected life and the Internet of Things through compelling user experience designs.
  • Murray Kirk: Runs projects that pave the way for new products or technology adoption in video, spanning new initiatives & mainstream development teams.
  • Stan Baginskis: The team is experienced with driving high-impact innovation results that compliments the work happening across the organization pillars. The team will be reporting under the Chief of Staff and expanded to include Architectural Governance.
  • Open Source teams: The IP Central and COSI teams will continue managing inbound and outbound Open Source across Development organization. The teams led by Ying-Sheng Wen and Dan Gardner will report under the Chief of Staff.
  • Senior Tech Talent: A large number of senior technical leaders are joining the team as individual contributors, and will be positioned into the organization to best support our charter.
The following existing leaders will remain and be expanding their scope as follows:
  • Kristen Wright: Drive university research, talent, and open innovation programs, and drive technology innovation projects in video & mobility.
  • Gerhard Wieser: Driving architecture and product innovation with beachhead customer engagements.
  • Jan Medved/Michael O'Gorman: Their teams will invent, prototype, and drive productization of new innovative technologies to meet customer, community and business demands.
  • Joel Bion: The acting lead on architectural governance and strategy development.
  • Susie Wee: Leads user experience and technology innovations that improve the end-user, network-operator, and developer experience with using the network.
  • JP Vasseur: Leading the Self-Learning Networks team.
  • Damian Muzzio: Becomes Chief of Staff and will be leading the operational activities.
  • Christy Sanders: Maintains the role as Chief Sanity officer for the team.
  • Cranium: I'll continue at Chief Architect of our Portfolio and CTO of engineering. As a DLT and OC member, I'll be a primary conduit for working with Segment and business leaders on the prioritization of technology, products. As usual, there will be a very strong rotation to customers and working with you on inventing new technology and solutions.
I am confident the CTAO organization will continue to be nimble to allow us to quickly address the technology and architecture changes impacting our customers. The organization has amassed the greatest group of minds ever formed at Cisco so I expect great things from all of you. We will be highly focused on accountability, responsibility, engagement and effectiveness as a group and set of individuals.

The company has handed us an unprecedented opportunity that I plan on putting everything I have into making it successful and advocating for your work. We will share more information about the next level of the organization and strategy as we finalize planning in coming weeks. Please reach out to members of the new org and introduce yourself!


Dave Ward


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