Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) named Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) executive David Yen to lead its server access and virtualization technology group, the latest change in a shakeup of the networking-equipment maker that began last month.

Yen will replace Mario Mazzola, Prem Jain and Luca Cafiero, who founded the business that served as the basis for the division, Cisco said yesterday in a statement. They will take on advisory roles, the company said.

Cisco employs more than 4,000 people at its campus in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

The server business, created in 2008, is part of Cisco’s effort to sell more gear into the burgeoning data-center market. The division includes Nexus network switches and the United Computing System, a range of technologies that help customers manage information. The UCS business is on track to make $650 million in revenue annually, as of Cisco’s last reported quarter, the company said.

Chief Executive Officer John Chambers pledged last month to make a number of targeted moves at Cisco, an effort to rebuild confidence among investors and customers. Cisco said on April 12 that it will close the Flip video-camera business and cut 550 jobs. Last week, the company announced plans to simplify its management structure.

Cisco is also offering some employees the option of early retirement. 

(Read here for Chambers’ disclosure about need for changes.)

Yen served as executive vice president at Sunnyvale, California-based Juniper. He led the company’s data-center network research and development project, called QFabric. Yan also worked for 20 years at Sun Microsystems Inc., a server maker that is now part of Oracle Corp.

HP Showdown

The move into servers has put Cisco into closer competition with the biggest computer makers, including Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) and International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) Hewlett-Packard and other companies also are expanding into new markets, including networking, storage and services, an effort to become one-stop shops for data-center customers.

Cisco rose 4 cents to $17.60 yesterday in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The shares have fallen 13 percent this year.

The declining stock price and market-share losses have put pressure on Chambers to make changes.

In routers, which made up 16 percent of Cisco’s sales last year, Cisco’s share dropped to 55 percent last year from 66 percent in 2006, according to IDC, a market-research firm in Framingham, Massachusetts. Cisco also lost more than 10 percentage points of share in network-security hardware.

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