Cisco has announced a shake-up of its execs.

CTO Charles Giancarlo will become chief development officer. Current chief development officer Mario Mazzola and two other high-level executives - senior VPs Luca Cafiero and Prem Jain - are all retiring. All three joined from Cisco's acquisition of Crescendo Communications in 1993.

Giancarlo will step down from his job as chief technology officer and become responsible for the company's future technological direction and running its engineering functions, according to the company, reporting to CEO John Chambers.

The chief technology officer job will become an open position, but Cisco has not chosen an internal successor or announced an external search as yet.

At the same time, Cisco will create a Data Center, Switching and Security Technology Group, consolidating data-centre technologies such as storage, caching and virtualisation, and bringing them together with security products and the Catalyst 6500 series high-end switches.

Jayshree Ullal, currently senior VP of the Security Technology Group, will head the new group. Ullal will take over some responsibilities from Cafiero, who ran the storage, high-end switching and wireless groups.

Mike Volpi, now senior VP of Cisco's Routing Technology Group, will take on new responsibilities from retiring Jain and become senior VP of the service provider group and routing technology group. The newly formed service provider group will include technologies such as core routing, service provider voice products and mobile wireless gear, as well as an optical group that has been overseen by Mazzola.

Cisco's Wireless Technology Group, which has been led by Cafiero, will be combined with the midrange and stackable Ethernet switch lines to form the Ethernet Systems and Wireless Technology Group, to be headed by Kathy Hill.