Cisco MarioPremLuca
Cisco’s legendary engineering triumvirate “MarioPremLuca.” Business Insider


A group of Cisco’s top engineers, often called the “heart, soul, and brains” of the company, has just resigned, following a management shake-up last week.

According to the WSJ, Mario Mazzola, Prem Jain, Luca Cafiero, and Soni Jiandani, internallycalled the MPLS team based on the first letters of their names, will leave Cisco effective June 17.

Mazzola, Jain, Cafiero, and Jiandani were some of the most powerful engineers at Cisco, leading an R&D effort called the “spin-in” at the company.

Cisco’s ex-CEO, John Chambers, poured billions of dollars into startups launched by them, under a prearranged agreement that Cisco would buy their company once the product was complete.

Once the most trusted engineering groups under Chambers, the MPLS team has lost some of its influence after current CEO Chuck Robbins took over, as three of them were relegated to advisory roles in a reorganization announced last week.

The internal memo cited by the WSJ said that their decision to leave “is based on a disconnect regarding roles, responsibilities and charter that came to light immediately after the announcement,” indicating that there might have been tension brewing between Robbins and the four now departed executives.

As Business Insider’s Julie Bort previously reported, the four MPLS team members continued to report to Chambers, even after Robbins became CEO. They were also reportedly causing some controversy within the company, as some employees complained about the big financial rewards they were getting.

Robbins said in a statement:

I want to recognize Mario, Prem, Luca, and Soni for the countless contributions they have made to Cisco. I have personally learned so much from them, and they will always be an important part of Cisco’s engineering story. Their legacy will live on through our ongoing innovation and the talented engineering leaders they have mentored. I wish them the best.

As reported by Business Insider