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Cisco sheds Invicta storage line as new CEO Chuck Robbins takes over

Robbins also added two company outsiders to his executive team.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

Chuck Robbins is now officially the chief executive of networking giant Cisco Systems, replacing longtime boss John Chambers.

On Monday, Robbins marked his first full day on the job by laying out a data-driven roadmap for the company's next chapter.

"For fifty years, the IT industry has been bringing data to the 'computer.' Now, we're bringing computing - with analytics, insights, and actions - to the data," Robbins said in a blog post. "In the digital world, data - and the insights from that data - will be the most strategic asset."

The focus on data is no surprise for Cisco, as the company has worked fervently to position itself at the nexus of the Internet of Things movement.

Perhaps what's more telling about Robbins' approach to leading Cisco is the significant amount of pruning that's gone on over the last week. First the company announced the sale of its set-top box division to French firm Technicolor for $600 million.

Robbins then put Cisco's flash storage business on the chopping block.

"Cisco is prioritizing the elements of our portfolio to drive the most value for our customers both now and in the future, and today, we are announcing the End of Life (EoL) for the Invicta Appliance and Scaling System products," the company said in a statement to press.

The Invicta storage array line is the result of Cisco's $415 million acquisition of Whiptail in 2013. At the time, Cisco said it planned to integrate Whiptail's solid state memory technology into its unified computing system (UCS) products. It also was seen as a move that would help Cisco better compete with storage rivals such as EMC and NetApp. But Cisco was eventually forced to halt shipments of the arrays in 2014 following a bevy of quality complaints from customers.

Robbins on Monday also added two company outsiders to his executive team.

Former venture capitalist Zorawar Biri Singh has been named Cisco CTO and SVP of platforms, replacing Padmasree Warrior, while Salesforce.com vet Kevin Bandy steps into the role of chief digital officer.

Although new to Cisco, Both Biri and Bandy have a long history in the enterprise IT space. Before becoming a partner with Khosla Ventures, Biri held leadership positions at HP, IBM and Nortel Networks. Prior to Salesforce, Bandy was involved in market expansion at both Accenture and IBM.


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