Cisco confirmed today that long-time employee and general manager of Cisco's Internet of Things unit, Guido Jouret, has resigned.
This is the unit Cisco formed to go after its share of what it sees as a $14 trillion market in the next decade.
The Internet of Things is when all kinds of objects get a computer chip and join the Internet: your car, your fridge, your medicine bottles, you light bulbs and so on. Cisco is working on networking and security products for the day when billions of these devices are on the 'net.
Jouret had been with Cisco since at least 1994, according to his LinkedIn profile. He started as a director in France and worked his way up to become the CTO of emerging technologies. In 2013, Cisco tapped him to help lead the company's new 500-person Internet of Things (IoT) unit, launched last year.
His exit was first reported as rumor by blogger Brad Reese, and confirmed to Business Insider by Cisco. A spokesperson told us:
Cisco can confirm that Guido Jouret, previously VP/General Manager of Cisco’s Internet of Things (IoT) business unit, is leaving Cisco to pursue a new opportunity. Cisco Senior Vice President Rob Soderbery, who oversees Cisco’s enterprise networking and IoT groups, will assume direct leadership of the group.
The Internet of Things, and Cisco's role in it, is important to the company's overall strategy. Cisco's bread-and-butter products are under attack by a new technology known as software-defined networks.
SDN changes the way networks are designed, moving fancy features out of expensive network hardware and into software. Companies can then buy cheaper hardware and less of it. Cisco has its own SDN offering. But Cisco today generates gross margins upwards of 60% on its networking gear. SDN could really hurt that.
Last year, CEO John Chambers downplayed SDN's affect on Cisco's long term business, saying, "We're already onto our next challenge beyond SDN."
By that, he meant Internet of Things (or Internet of Everything, as Cisco refers to it).
It's not totally clear what products the IoT group was working on. We'll could hear more about that later this month when Cisco hosts is huge customer conference, Cisco Live, in San Francisco.
We don't know yet where Jouret has landed, although we have reached out to him and asked.
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