Cisco's Internet of Things chief steps down

As companies begin to plow heavy investment into the Internet of Things concept, the head of Cisco's IoT division resigns.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Cisco's Internet of Things (IoT) head has resigned at a time when companies have begun to grasp how IoT could change our lives, and start to plow heavy investment into researching and implementing the concept.

The tech giant confirmed this week that vice president and general manager of Cisco's Internet of Things group, Guido Jouret, has stepped down from his post in order to "pursue a new opportunity." As reported by networking blogger Brad Reese, Rob Soderbery, senior vice president of Cisco's Enterprise Networking Group will now oversee the unit directly in his stead.

The Internet of Things is the concept surrounding networking devices using the Web and sensors, connecting up everything from our utilities on the grid via smart meters to coffee shop fridges and household lighting systems. By connecting our devices and appliances to the Internet, IoT is meant to encourage more efficient use of energy and convenience — whether through informing users when devices need maintenance, collecting data valuable to businesses such as customer trends and purchase patterns, or smart sensor usage which makes driving safer.

Jouret has been responsible for the development of IoT products, including cameras, sensors, smart electric meters and routers. The unit has also attempted to standardize IoT protocols with other companies since its launch.

The executive's LinkedIn profile states that Jouret "evaluates new product and market opportunities, ensures architectural tie-in between the emerging technologies and Cisco's core products, and is responsible for developing and communicating Cisco's thought leadership on Internet of Things technologies."

IoT is likely to be a critical component in Cisco's future business model. The IoT division was launched by Cisco in October 2013, and the company said at the time that it would focus on IoT-ready networking standards and gear. Research firm Gartner believes IoT will hit 26 billion devices by 2020 and be worth over $1.9 trillion in the same year, but a number of obstacles could hamper adoption. Device security, consumer privacy and data storage management are only several of the problems that lie ahead for companies interested in implementing IoT gadgets.

At Cisco's Internet of Things World Forum in Barcelona last year, Jouret commented:

There is a need to bring together technology companies, integrators and industry to accelerate adoption. A lot of industries are just getting connected. Many are in the first inning. The second inning is focused on getting data and turning big data into big control. What can we automate.

In May, Cisco announced its investment arm would be boosting its investment in IoT-based startups by $150 million.

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