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Cisco Hires Former Motorola Technology Chief

Cisco Systems said on Tuesday it hired Padmasree Warrior, the former head of technology at mobile phone maker Motorola, as chief technology officer.

Warrior's departure from Motorola was announced on Monday, and came after its embattled chief executive, Ed Zander, said last week he was stepping down and would be replaced by Chief Operating Officer Greg Brown.

The 47-year old Warrior said it was her decision to leave Motorola, where she worked for 23 years and was CTO since 2003.

"It was my decision to leave Motorola. It's independent of what's happening at Motorola or any of the organizational changes that they are making," she told Reuters. "The reason I chose Cisco is, I believe it is a great company with a tremendous track record of catching the market transitions at the right time."

Cisco shares have fallen over 20 percent from their November high on worries about slower U.S. corporate spending, but the company's last quarterly report showed profit rose 37 percent year-on-year.

The company has posted strong growth in the past few years due to strong demand from phone service providers and corporate customers who need to upgrade their networks in response to growing Internet traffic.

Motorola, by comparison, has been losing market share to rivals such as Nokia and Samsung Electronics, and posted a 94 percent fall in third-quarter profit.

Warrior was educated in both India and the United States. She studied chemical engineering at Cornell University. Cisco has been expanding its investment in India, and is set to employ over 10,000 people in the country by 2010.

"I'm very much looking forward to being part of a company that does believe in globalization and actually is leveraging that as a strength," she said.

Warrior will report to Chief Executive John Chambers and will work closely with Chief Development Officer Charles Giancarlo, who was the company's former CTO, Cisco said.

The CTO role had been open since Giancarlo was promoted to chief development officer in July 2005.