Cisco’s push into the consumer market has seen its ups and downs over the past couple of years. Some products have made a strong impact like the Flip cameras and the Valet line of routers, while others have not fared so well – think networked audio and Media Hub. However, the one consistency has been the resolve of Cisco to continue pushing into the consumer market with a close eye from John Chambers himself, and the leadership in the consumer segment of Ned Hooper.
In an announcement this week, Cisco has shaken up the management of the Consumer Business group. Ned Hooper will continue to drive Cisco's overall strategyasChief Strategy Officer, while Marthin De Beer will take over leadership of the Consumer Business Group. Marthin is also responsible for the TelePresence and Emerging Technologies BusinessGroups. This realignment brings the consumer TelePresence management under the same umbrella as other consumer-focused products.
The most surprising part of the announcement is the departure of Jonathan Kaplan. Jonathan came to Cisco with the Pure Digital (Flip) acquisition and was responsible for driving the Valet router which was a huge step forward for home networking equipment in terms of ease of use. Jonathan was a big part of that acquisition and his departure could be seen as a negative for Cisco’s future in the consumer space. With the wide breadth of talent within Cisco, it is highly unlikely that one person’s departure will undermine the overall consumer strategy of the company. We expect to see continued focus from Cisco on consumer products and look forward to future product announcements.