Padmasree Warrior Deserts Sinking Motorola for Cisco

They say that even the rats desert a sinking ship.

While Padmasree Warrior is certainly no rat, this shrewd corporate warrior has abandoned the sinking Motorola and sought refuge in the safe harbor of networking leader Cisco.

Padmasree is joining Cisco as CTO, the same position she held at struggling Motorola where she was responsible for the company’s $4 billion research and development investment and had operational responsibility for Motorola’s global team of 26,000 engineers as well as Motorola Labs, its software, emerging early-stage businesses and the company’s intellectual property portfolio.

With her well-timed move to Cisco, Padmasree is living up to her description on the Motorola web site as wickedly intelligent.

Padmasree parachuted into Cisco just days after Motorola’s board announced on Friday plans to bring in a new CEO Greg Brown to replace Ed Zander. Motorola’s handset division is gasping for breath with an operating loss of $138 million in Q3 on revenues that fell 36% to $4.5 billion.

We think Padmasree – who was named CTO of Motorola in 2003 – is much overrated. But, hey we don’t call the shots in the corporate world.

In typical gushing corporate-speak, Cisco CEO John Chambers said Tuesday:

Over her distinguished career, Padmasree has demonstrated the key characteristics we prize at Cisco, including an unwavering commitment to customer success and innovation. She is a technology visionary, an excellent leader with a strong industry voice and business acumen, and we are thrilled to welcome her to our leadership team.

Padmasree Warrior holds an M.S. degree in chemical engineering from Cornell University and a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi, India.

In 2007, Padmasree was awarded Doctor of Engineering, Honoris Causa from New York’s Polytechnic University. Warrior is also an external director on the board of Corning Corporation.

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