Cisco VP who is a former CIA officer will make finding leaks his “hobby”


A Network World article details how Cisco (s csco) VP Mike Quinn, a former CIA operations officer (back in the 1980s) is going after the person or people who leaked company memos to the magazine. Part of his memo is below, or you can read the whole story at Network World or at networking blogger Brad Reese’s site.

“I want you to remember that Cisco puts the groceries on your table every two weeks, not Brad Reese or other Slander Sheet Journalists. That you disrespected everyone else at Cisco. Now I know you do not have it in you to stand up and admit what you did, so I will now make you my “hobby.” Ask around you will find out that I like to work on my hobbies.”

What a delightful work environment.



I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my super secret cisco memos about changing the lunch plan go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.


Ha, ha, ha……from the movie Taken with Liam Neeson.
I’m certain this isn’t funny, but as a tech PR professional, this memo business was handled so poorly it’s almost juvenile.
Cisco???!! Where are your PR folks? Ask for advice or for god’s sake, call me.


Hi Stacey,

Robert McMillan at Wired.Com published the official Cisco response to Mike Quinn’s leaked email message:

Reached Friday, Cisco confirmed that the leaks were legit.

“We take the confidentiality of our internal communications seriously. Mike Quinn’s statement reflected his passion, not an official corporate communication. Nonetheless, his comments reflect a legitimate concern about those who work at Cisco yet seek to damage the company. There are many appropriate channels to report concerns internally and externally if there are issues. Sending confidential communications to a blog site isn’t one of them.”


Brad Reese


So… Now that we KNOW the CIA is inside Cisco…
Will foreign governments express reservations about using Cisco products inside networks supporting “national security” ???


A few things.

1) Whomever leaked the information violated their employment agreement, etc etc. That’s a termination offense. Unless they were whistleblowers, but that’s not the case.
2) This VP is a douche for putting this in writing. There are a thousand ways to write an email like that’s more effective and less controversial.


I have no problem with companies trying to track down people who leak strategic information, but I think it was very bad judgement for an executive to post something like that.


Wow. That sounds like something out of a movie. AT&T, Verizon, Joey’s Steaks on 5th St. and Walmart use the same tactics. It’s another sad example of bullying in the workplace.

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