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Cisco executive Todd Nightingale to take Fastly CEO job

Executive Todd Nightingale will step away from Cisco after a decade. Cisco plans to combine the enterprise networking and cloud division he led with another department.

Cisco executive Todd Nightingale, who leads the firm's enterprise networking and cloud division, will step down next month to become CEO of cloud edge company Fastly.

Nightingale plans to start his new job with Fastly Sept. 1, leaving Cisco after nearly 10 years.

"I've been honored to be a part of such a passionate, caring organization," Nightingale tweeted this week. "Being a part of Cisco and Meraki over the past decade has been a privilege for which I will be forever grateful."

Nightingale started working for Cisco when it bought cloud network management company Meraki in late 2012 for $1.2 billion. For eight years, he served as vice president and general manager of the Meraki division. He was an executive and engineer at network security firm AirDefense before his tenure at Meraki.

Todd Nightingale, Fastly CEOTodd Nightingale

In his time with Meraki, Nightingale furthered the company's reputation for simplifying network management for IT administrators, IDC analyst Rohit Mehra said.

"Meraki has not only done great for Cisco, but for many in the industry, it's been the poster child for cloud-managed networking," Mehra said.

When Cisco executive David Goeckeler left in March 2020, Nightingale took charge of the company's newly formed enterprise networking and cloud group. In that capacity, he led Cisco's efforts to integrate Meraki's management capabilities with its portfolio of campus networking products, Mehra said.

Nightingale's work led to the addition of Cisco's Catalyst campus switches to Meraki's management platform. The recent integration, which lets administrators monitor and troubleshoot networks from the cloud, won praise from IT professionals.

Nightingale was instrumental to Cisco taking that big step in network management, Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Bob Laliberte said. "He moved a lot of mountains within Cisco to converge these groups."

Though Nightingale's departure is a loss, Cisco has a strong bench of talent that will let it continue integrating its hardware with Meraki, Mehra said.

"It's an opportunity for a number of Cisco's senior product and business leaders to rise to the occasion," he said.

Cisco will merge Nightingale's department with its mass-scale infrastructure division, the company said. Jonathan Davidson, currently executive vice president of that group, will lead the combined unit.

"We are grateful for Todd's many contributions and congratulate him as he takes on a new opportunity as a CEO of another company in an adjacent market," a Cisco spokesperson said.

Nightingale will replace Joshua Bixby as Fastly CEO. Bixby will step down from his CEO position and the company's board but will continue to serve as an adviser. Fastly's software platform delivers content from the cloud.

"Todd is a proven and passionate technology leader, and we are thrilled to have him join our team," Fastly board member David Hornik said in a statement.

In a release, Nightingale praised Fastly's technology and thanked the company for choosing him for CEO.

"Fastly is delivering unparalleled application experiences for users around the world, with exceptional flexibility, security and performance," Nightingale said. "I'm honored and grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Fastly team."

Enterprise Strategy Group is a division of TechTarget.

Mike Gleason is a reporter covering unified communications and collaboration tools. He previously covered communities in the MetroWest region of Massachusetts for the Milford Daily NewsWalpole TimesSharon Advocate and Medfield Press. He has also worked for newspapers in central Massachusetts and southwestern Vermont and served as a local editor for Patch. He can be found on Twitter at @MGleason_TT.

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