The “distinguished engineer” label is a big deal. These three had been at Cisco for 20, 12, and 15 years, respectively.
In addition, VMware has hired Ron Fuller, a technical marketing engineer working on the Nexus 7000, and Andy Sholomon, who was with the office of the CTO at VCE, Cisco’s joint venture with EMC and VMware. (EMC is buying most of Cisco’s VCE stake and owns most of VMware, so Sholomon’s move is both more and less complicated than it sounds, if you want to think about it that hard.)
Separately, VMware has hired Jacob Rapp away from HP. Rapp had been working with HP’s recently launched SDN app store, as you might recall. He’s now a director of technical product management at VMware.
What’s it all mean? Possibly nothing; people move around any given industry all the time, and the amount of activity surrounding SDN and related technologies has opened up plenty of opportunity. Cisco got the short end of the stick in this batch of moves, but it could be just the result of some aggressive recruiting. (See Brocade‘s amassing of former IBM experts.)