Papermaster moves to Cisco post Apple
Here’s one engineer who isn’t suffering from unemployment. In fact, he’s managed to bounce from one big tech name to another, to now to another during the downturn.
Mark Papermaster, whose name you might recall, is now at Cisco, news reports state. You might know his name from Apple’s “Antennagate,” the iPhone reception debacle in which he is considered by many to be the company’s fall guy. Or perhaps you have heard his name when he moved to Apple in the first place, which he did in April 2009 after a long and intense legal battle with his former employer IBM over a non-compete agreement.
In any event, jumping around doesn’t seem to be this EE’s style. He was with IBM for 26 years before moving to Apple last year to take on the role of senior VP of devices hardware engineering at the iPod and iPhone maker.
So why leave Apple less than a year and a half after starting and after all that legal trouble? The rumor mill has been a buzz for months on Papermaster’s exit from Apple in August. Rumor has it he was uncomfortable at Apple, reportedly having had words with Steve Jobs and perhaps not at ease in Apple’s t-shirt corporate culture after spending more than two decades at button-upped IBM. Other rumors say Papermaster was shown the door after consumers flared Apple for its antenna problems.
While Papermaster’s LinkedIn page still lists Apple as his employer and while Cisco has yet to release any type of statement welcoming him to the company, it has been widely reported that Papermaster started work Monday as vice president of Cisco’s silicon switching technology group, where he’ll be responsible for managing ASICs.
And Cisco needs all the help it can get right now. Investors hammered the company’s stock after it announced fiscal Q1 2011 results last week that missed Wall Street revenue estimates by about $1 billion. Cisco cable operator orders were down 35% year over year and state government orders down 48% sequentially. Ouch-big drops, especially considering the economy is recovering.
Papermaster is certainly skilled enough to lend Cisco a helping hand in the chip department. And perhaps the reason Cisco hasn’t put out a statement yet is because Papermaster, after seeing his name in headlines for some two years now, is done with the drama. In any event, it’s good to see Papermaster landed safely after Apple. Given the 26 years he spent at Big Blue, he may find himself very comfortable in Cisco’s similar culture.
What do you think? Share your thoughts on Papermaster’s moves, working at Apple, and corporate culture below.