Cisco’s executive shuffle continues, as the company’s
massive 25,000-person engineering team undergoes another reorg.
As planned and announced at the start of 2016, Pankaj Patel, Cisco former executive vice president, chief development officer and head of global engineering under previous CEO John Chambers, officially left at the end of October.
On Thursday, the company revealed the financial terms of Patel’s departure.
Meanwhile the guy that seemed destined to replace him, Zorowar Biri Singh, the networking giant’s chief technology officer and CEO Chuck Robbins first big hire, also left at the end of October, after only 15 months. Singh was charged with figuring out a cloud strategy for Cisco. He had come from HP, where he was also for a short time involved with HP’s cloud strategy. (HP officially quit the public cloud business entirely a year ago, a few months after Singh left for Cisco.)
This follows a patch where other long-time Cisco engineering leaders have left the company, including the enterprise engineering leader Robert Soderbery, who left last month, and Cisco’s most famous quad of legendary engineers, Mario Mazzola, Prem Jain, Luca Cafiero and Soni Jiandani, who quit in June.
Robbins told employees last August that the company would be doing its largest layoff in history, with 14,000 positions cut. Robbins reorganized in March, which was after Cisco went through a previous massive reorg of engineering under Chambers in 2014.
Cisco formally released Patel’s termination letter on Thursday, detailing the financial terms of the exec’s exit.
- $1,041,250 in severance pay (he gets half now and half in six months).
- A cash bonus payment of $1,498,298
- 99,758 stock units that were initially restricted under the condition that he continued to work for Cisco through September, 2017. At $30 a share (about Cisco’s current share price), those are worth $2,992,740
- Retirement vesting of another 474,310 stock units that were initially restricted under the condition he continue to work for Cisco through 2019. Those will vest as planned. At $30 a share, those are worth $14,229,300
- A lump sum payout of $12,209.57 to cover 17 months of his health insurance under COBRA.
- And a chance to exercise stock options that have come due to him.
All in all, he’ll walk with over $5.5 million between cash and stock, excluding the 17 months of cash to cover his COBRA, with more stock earmarked for him.
Cisco has not yet named a new chief of engineering to its public executive roster.