Engineering companies sometimes lose their staff to other engineering companies. We’ve seen it happen frequently inside the engineering teams of Apple and Tesla, where engineers resign and move on to ‘greener pastures’. A recent management change within Cisco Systems Inc. – who are wanting to become the leaders in Internet of Things technology – has made four of its top engineers resign from the company. Mario Mazzola, Prem Jain. Luca Cafiero and Soni Jiandani were supposedly the research and development dream team for Cisco but have now decided to part ways with the company. 

EIT Stock Image Credit: Business Insider

The group was in charge of the design of products that Cisco recently bought into called “spin-in” products that saw the engineers getting big paycheck raises based on technology they sold to the company.  A former executive at Cisco the engineers saying: “Mario is the soul. Luca is the brain. Prem is the heart. And Soni is the mouth.” Some went as far as to say that the group ARE Cisco, due to the amount of tech they had built for the company and the amount of tech the company bought from them. However, they do hold office job positions at Cisco as well. 

The engineers had a rare deal with Cisco. Their involvement in Cisco involved creating a start-up company, developing hardware and software and then selling it to Cisco and making a lot of profit. This is the idea behind the “spin-in” technologies. Budding engineers, take note. 

Business Insider recapped the amount of money Cisco paid every time the group of engineers built a start-up company and then sold the technology they built :

  • $750 million in 2001 for storage networking switches under company name Andiamo Systems
  • $678 million for a “new kind of server” technology in 2008 under company name Nouva Systems.
  • $863 million for a “core networking product” under company name Insieme Networks. 

The four’s positions in the company were shuffled just as June started. They were given advisory positions in the company by CEO Chuck Robbins in an internal memo. 

However, it’s all over now. The four have resigned from Cisco and are probably on their way to sipping on cocktails on their yachts, due to being multimillionaires as a result of Cisco’s investment into their technology. However, if this isn’t an engineering success story, we don’t know what is. 



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