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Cisco's product development dream team calls it quits

Four executives responsible for some of Cisco's most successful products are leaving due to disagreements over management roles.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Apparently unhappy with a recent management shake-up, four legendary Cisco Systems executives are leaving the company.

Mario Mazzola, Prem Jain, Luca Cafiero and Soni Jiandani -- the product development team behind some of Cisco's most successful products -- are leaving on June 17, as the Wall Street Journal first reported.

Their decision follows the announcement last week that Mazzola, Jain and Cafiero -- who previously helped manage Cisco's Insieme Networks -- were reassigned as advisers to the company. Jiandani, Cisco announced, would keep her title as senior vice president and continue to lead Insieme.

The four decided to resign due to "a disconnect regarding roles, responsibilities and charter that came to light immediately after the announcement," Cisco announced to its 72,000 employees on Monday, in an internal memo obtained by ZDNet.

In a public statement, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbin recognized their "countless contributions" to the company.

"I have personally learned so much from them, and they will always be an important part of Cisco's engineering story," he said. "Their legacy will live on through our ongoing innovation and the talented engineering leaders they have mentored."

The four executives -- known collectively as MPLS because of their first names -- have been instrumental in Cisco's growth since 1993, when they join the company as part of the acquisition of Crescendo Networks. Cisco over the years funded a series of in-house startups led by MPLS, the most recent of which was Insieme.

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