Cisco number two Charles Giancarlo, who was widely tipped to become the firm's next CEO, has resigned.
The network giant said yesterday that a rejig of the organisation's business was underway to shift from a "command and control" structure to a team-led approach.
Cisco CEO John Chambers said that he had hired a group of execs to oversee acquisitions and business deals at the firm.
The so-called "development council" will replace Giancarlo who leaves Cisco at the end of the year.
Explaining his decision to quit, 50-year-old Giancarlo told reporters in a conference call yesterday that Cisco's management restructure did not fit with his ambitions to be at the helm of a company.
He will join Silicon Valley investment firm Silver Lake early next year.
Chambers said in a statement: "As we build Cisco into a next-generation company, we will transition from a company that is driven from command and control to one that is built on teamwork and collaboration."
While the statements from Chambers and Giancarlo were measured, in keeping with Cisco's steady as she goes attitude, the news has sent waves through the industry, with words like "turmoil" being bandied around by the likes of the FT.
Certainly, some will see the shift from an orderly succession to a "development council" as a recipe for instability as execs inevitably jockey for their place in line for the top job.®