Cisco’s Kawale heading to Rogers

Cisco Canada chief Nitin Kawale will lead the Rogers' enterprise business, while Cisco Russia GM Bernadette Wightman takes over as Cisco Canada president.

Nitin Kawale will head up Rogers' enterprise business unit.

Nitin Kawale will head up Rogers’ enterprise business unit.

For the first time in more than six years, Cisco Canada will have a new president by the end of November.

The networking giant announced Friday morning that longtime Cisco Canada president Nitin Kawale is leaving the company. Shortly afterwards, Rogers announced Kawale will be coming on board as president of the communication giant’s enterprise business unit effective December 1.

Taking over for Kawale as president of Cisco Canada will be Bernadette Wightman, a 15-year Cisco veteran with experience in a number of roles, most recently as general manager of Cisco’s operations in Russia and the other Commonwealth of Independent States countries.

Cisco Canada confirmed that Kawale’s last day at Cisco will be November 21, with Wightman starting in her new role on November 24.

In Kawale’s new role, he’ll serve as president of Rogers’ enterprise business unit, reporting directly to CEO Guy Laurence, and be a member of the executive team for Rogers. In a statement announcing Kawale’s appointment, Laurence praised KAwale as a “proven accomplished executive who is well-known and respected in the business space,” and hinted at Kawale’s priorities in his new role.

“Business customers in Canada are currently underserved and we’re going to change that,” Laurence said in the statement. “We’re serious about helping businesses use technology to be more productive and efficient. Nitin’s track record for innovating and building relationships across the business community will be key assets as we execute on our Rogers 3.0 plan.”

Bernadette Wightman will take over as president of Cisco Canada next month

Bernadette Wightman will take over as president of Cisco Canada next month

Although his group is labeled enterprise, its focus is actually much broader, owning small and medium business, enterprise, and public sector strategy and execution for Rogers.

Among Kawale’s laurels for his work at Cisco was the doubling of the company’s business in this country to the point where it is now the third biggest international business for Cisco by revenues, hitting well above its weight considering the population and GDP size of Canada. As well as leading the charge on building many partnerships with education institutions across Canada, Kawale was a loud voice and acted prominently in efforts to increase Canada’s productivity.

Wightman comes to Cisco Canada from Russia, but is originally out of the U.K. Along with her position as GM in Russia, she’s held posts that include leading channel and commercial sales for Cisco’s Emerging Theatre, the company’s second-largest global region after the Americas. Her channel roots also include time serving as channel chief for Cisco in UK and Ireland.