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Cisco's top RTP executive retires after 18 years

Less than a week after Cisco Systems announced it would lay off 170 workers in Research Triangle Park, the site's top executive has left the company.

Cisco RTP Site Executive Joe Novak's departure on Aug. 15 was not a layoff but a personal decision to retire, the company said. Novak, who was also Cisco's vice president of services, had been with the company since it established a Triangle office in 1993.

The new site executive is Ed Paradise, Cisco's vice president of engineering. If Paradise's name sounds familiar, that's because he was also RTP site executive from 2003 to 2009.

Cisco could lose several hundred employees from its RTP site, which employed 4,900 earlier this summer. The RTP site is Cisco's largest in the U.S. after its San Jose headquarters.

Earlier this year Cisco implemented a voluntary buyout program and will lay off contractors this year as part of a worldwide move to cut 6,500 workers and trim $1 billion from annual operating expenses.

"The decision was mine, and a very difficult one because it involves leaving an extraordinary group of friends and colleagues, and a remarkable company with a very bright future ahead," Novak said in a Cisco release. "After leaving Cisco, I’ll be spending time with my family and taking some time off before I begin my next chapter in life."

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