Amid Rumored Cisco Layoffs, Channel Veteran Joins McAfee
Cisco Systems is trying to rally customers and partners at the Cisco Live conference in Las Vegas this week. But there are some off-stage distractions. First up, one pundit speculates that Cisco will cut 5,000 positions in August. And in another sign of the times, Cisco channel veteran Lang Tibbils has left the networking giant to join McAfee. Sure, people make career moves all the time. But Tibbils’ career move reinforces changing times at Cisco.
The VAR Guy has known Tibbils for more than a decade. Never one to spread rumors or gossip, Tibbils simply shared facts and routed The VAR Guy to the most appropriate Cisco channel contacts. Efficient. Reliable. Smart. That’s Tibbils. Now, Tibbils is set to join McAfee to bolster the company’s channel marketing efforts. Of course, Cisco has a deep bench of channel marketing experts and PR professionals.
But the changes at Cisco can’t be ignored. From Tibbils to former Channel Marketing VP Luanne Tierney (now at Juniper), some talented Cisco channel folks have been moving on to new opportunities.
Earlier this year CEO John Chambers conceded that Cisco had lost its focus and disappointed shareholders. Chambers promised to re-focus the company around five core priorities. And Cisco quietly launched a voluntary early retirement program for selected employees. In the days and weeks ahead, it should be easier and easier to identify which Cisco employees opted for the door and retirement package.
Tibbils, meanwhile, joins McAfee during an intriguing time. McAfee Channel Chief Alex Thurber, also a Cisco veteran, has largely restored McAfee’s channel credibility in the past year. During a sit-down with The VAR Guy in May 2011, Thurber explained his next channel partner priorities for 2011. Now, Tibbils is on board to assist with those priorities.