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Networking giant

Cisco Systems

(CSCO) - Get Cisco Systems, Inc. Report

said Monday that its chief technology officer, Judith Estrin, will leave the company to start a technology company with her husband and business partner, Bill Carrico.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company also promoted Michelangelo Volpi to chief strategy officer, a newly created position that will encompass the chief technology officer role.

Cisco also announced a new alliance with


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to help companies moving to the Web to access and integrate the three companies' Internet technologies.

Shares of Cisco Systems dropped Monday amid a broad selloff in technology stocks. In early afternoon trading, Cisco was down 4 1/8, or 5%, at 73 3/16. (Cisco closed down 4 3/8, or 6%, at 72 15/16). In comparison, the technology laden


composite index, a measure of general performance in the sector, was down 247.89, or 5%. (The Nasdaq finished down 349.09, or 7%).

Analysts said the downward movement was not related to news about Cisco, and was largely due to jitters over technology stocks as investors await a ruling later in the

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day in the


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case, a decision which is expected to find the company in violation of antitrust laws.

"Tech stocks are not having a good day," said George Hunt, analyst at

Wachovia Securities

. "It's not great news that Judith Estrin is leaving Cisco, but because of her entrepreneurial background, it had been somewhat expected. This company has very good management, and Volpi is likely to keep it on a good course." Hunt rates Cisco a strong buy, and Wachovia does not underwrite stock or debt.

Estrin is widely known as a successful entrepreneur in the technology sector, and is credited with many contributions to developing and managing Cisco's software strategy, and helping to target acquisitions. She joined Cisco two years ago, when Cisco acquired

Precept Software

, a multimedia networking software developer which she co-founded.

In addition to Precept, Estrin has also co-founded

Network Computing Devices



Bridge Communications

, which merged with



in 1987.

In Cisco's alliance with Oracle and EMC, the companies will build a joint development center to create Internet commerce strategies that integrate the three companies' software and technology.