Peggy Ballard, Cisco Systems' senior director of worldwide service provider marketing and a member of Multichannel News's 2009 Wonder Women class, will retire effective Sept. 24.
"I've had 30-plus years in technology. It's time to take a little break... and then find out what my ‘encore career' will be," Ballard told Multichannel News.
Ballard e-mailed friends and colleagues in the industry Wednesday with the news that she had accepted Cisco's offer of an early-retirement package to those employees who had reached a certain age -- "I am not telling," she added parenthetically -- and who had worked for the company for at least five years.
After leaving Cisco, Ballard said she expects to take several months off to spend time with family and friends and to travel. "I'm just going to play for a while," she said.
In 1977, she joined Savin, an office-equipment manufacturer known mostly for its plain-paper copiers, and later worked for dial-up modem manufacturer Hayes Microcomputer Products. She joined Scientific-Atlanta in 1995 and has remained with the company through its 2005 acquisition by Cisco.
The cable industry, Ballard said, "to me is one of the very best industries... and in my next two months I want to connect to the people I met in my career."
A video segment of Ballard accepting her Wonder Women award in March is available here.