Add one more to the ranks of Cisco executives departing. Pankaj Patel — executive vice president, chief development officer, and 19-year company veteran — gave notice on Monday, according to an SEC document filed today.
Patel, who leads Cisco’s engineering organization, intends to step down during the second half of 2016, meaning he will be around for at least six months and would presumably help with any transition. That seems to be an indication that his departure really is a personal choice, as Cisco is characterizing it.
Obviously, Patel was not among the multiple executives who left Cisco in mid-2015 as CEO Chuck Robbins was taking over for John Chambers, who is now executive chairman. The departing group included President Gary Moore, President Rob Lloyd (now CEO at Hyperloop), and CTO Padmasree Warrior (now CEO at electric vehicle maker NextEV).
Externally, Robbins and Chambers lauded Patel for transforming Cisco’s engineering team by removing the self-imposed barriers between business units and introducing the principles of agile product development. “He has better positioned us to drive more innovation across the board,” Robbins said at Cisco Live in June.