Nick_Adamo_Cisco_SytemsCisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) has named Nick Adamo (pictured) to succeed Chuck Robbins as its top executive in the Americas, CRN reported today. The news comes as rival Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR) wraps up its Global Partner Conference in Las Vegas. We wonder: Did Cisco leak the news to shift the spotlight away from Juniper’s partner and software strategy — which has garnered a lot of attention this week? Hmmm…

Juniper CEO Kevin Johnson and the executive team announced a Software-Defined Networking (SDN) strategy on Jan. 15. Media coverage extended from channel pundits all the way to The New York Times. That same day, Juniper Executive VP Bob Muglia suggested that Cisco would have a hard time transitioning to SDN.

The mood at Juniper Global Partner Conference is upbeat but also one of transition. Some hardware partners are a little nervous about all this SDN talk. But Juniper outlined a comprehensive strategy. The roadmap is now publicly available. The Juniper SDN chatter is loud. All is well…

Pardon the Interruption

…Until Cisco comes along and grabs some of the spotlight. A few hours ago (Jan. 16, 5:52 p.m. ET), CRN reported :

“Cisco (NSDQ:CSCO) has named Nick Adamo to succeed Chuck Robbins as its top executive in the Americas, CRN has learned.

According to an internal memo authored by Robbins and viewed by CRN, Adamo will take over as senior vice president, worldwide field operations, the Americas. The job has been open since Robbins was named senior vice president of global sales back in October.”

Hmmm… Did Cisco leak the news to shift some of this week’s channel spotlight away from Juniper? Perhaps. We have attended plenty of conferences where rivals dial his cell phone to share “some timely news” on background…

Pure Speculation (Isn’t That the Best Kind?)

But the alleged Cisco leak and alleged timing with Juniper’s conference is pure speculation on our part. Plus, there’s this fact to consider: The CRN editor who penned the story, Chad Berndtson, is a news hound who does his homework, develops sources, and stays ahead of the news curve. So there’s a high probability Berndtson was working his sources and scooping this story without any Cisco-timed leaks.

Either way, it’s been a heck of a week. And it’s only Wednesday. Juniper has outlined an ambitious SDN strategy. And Cisco continues to evolve its executive team while ramping up its own SDN initiatives. Long live channel conflict — at least between the networking vendors 😉