Cisco senior vice-president and RTÉ Dragons’ Den investor Barry O’Sullivan has decided to leave the networking equipment maker after 11 years to start his own software company.
O’Sullivan is a Cork native who is Cisco’s senior vice-president in charge of voice products, a US$2bn a year business. He was also a member of Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior’s Strategy Group.
O’Sullivan is also one of the earliest members of the influential Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG), established by Irish and Irish-American executives in Silicon Valley, Hollywood and Wall Street, who decided to it was time Ireland tapped its diaspora opportunity.
Writing in his Tumblr blog, O’Sullivan said he will be leaving Cisco in early 2014 to start a software company.
“It’s been a fantastic 11 years for me at Cisco and I have just had a great time working with smart people and learning every day. Cisco built the internet, and with Voice over IP we made it better and more useful for people all over the world. It was great to be a part of that from the scary early days of IP telephony, taking on the legacy incumbents and going from zero to No 1 in the unified communications market in a short few years. It’s been an exhilarating ride with exceptional teams – and now I want to do it again!”
O’Sullivan said his time at Cisco had been invaluable in terms of leading major divisions of the company, and spearheading acquisitions of companies, including WebEd, and being an active angel investor in Silicon Valley.
“But now I am about to embark on the most exciting, challenging and scary adventure of my life – I want to build a software company that will change enterprise IT fundamentally. What I learned at Cisco will be a great foundation, but I am also buoyed by the insanely smart co-founders and great investors that want to come along for the ride. We are getting ready to strap in, and can’t wait to get started.”