All’s fair in love, war – and executive recruiting? Red Hat recently announced a partnership with Cisco to drive “cloud” computing but now has lured away a senior Cisco executive to lead its operations in India as managing director. 

Rajesh Rege leaves Cisco where he was director and “country head” of data center and cloud business for Cisco in India as well as across the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation. He had worked with Cisco the past four years.

“While at Cisco, he was responsible for driving the datacenter and virtualization strategy in India, a key focus area in cloud and datacenter transformation across services providers and enterprise customers,” Red Hat pointed out in the announcement.

Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) and Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) not only are partners in the cloud business but also have major operations in the Triangle. Red Hat’s headquarters are located in Raleigh, and Cisco operates one of its largest corporate campuses in Research Triangle Park.

“I am excited to join Red Hat as the India IT market grows,” Rege said in a statement. “Increased adoption of open source technologies and the emergence of open innovation as a key driver of scalable enterprise solutions, uniquely position Red Hat for success in India. I look forward to working with customers, partners, associates, and other stakeholders to build this opportunity to its fullest potential.”

Before joining Cisco, Rege worked for 11 years at Sun Microsystems. His information technology career stretches back 26 years.

Dirk-Peter van Leeuwen, senior vice president and general manager for Red Hat Asia Pacific, said Rege will help drive Red Hat’s growth in India as well as in the Asia-Pacific market.

“Rajesh’s appointment will further add to the value of the Red Hat management team in APAC, and especially in India as it grows as a key market for open source,” van Leeuwen said. “Rajesh has a wealth of experience in the IT industry, he is a strategist and a strong leader who has hired, managed and mentored a number of talented individuals and managers. I am confident that he will be able to drive and advance our strong portfolio of Asia-Pacific and India clients.”