The executive ranks at Cisco are set to shift a bit more, as the networking giant has officially confirmed that Pankaj Patel is leaving the company.
Patel's departure is only confirmed as occurring in the "second half of calendar 2016" at this point, and no official reason for his departure has been publicly disclosed yet. Patel's most recent position is as Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer, Global Engineering at Cisco, but for me, for as long as I can remember, Patel has been "the engineer" who helped to guide Cisco's technology forward.
Patel is the person that former CEO John Chambers often leaned on to push technology innovation forward. Patel has been at Cisco since 1996, but apparently he's had enough.
Patel's exit is not all that surprising, though, given the changes in executive ranks at Cisco over the past year. With the ascension of Chuck Robbins to CEO, many big names from Cisco's executive ranks have left, including former CTO Padmasree Warrior and former President Rob Lloyd.
It's unclear at this point who will fill Patel's shoes, but given that he might be around for up to six more months, Cisco has time to figure it all out.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.