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Nov 12 (Reuters) – Cisco Systems Inc (NASDAQ:CSCO) has hired former Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) executive Mark Papermaster, who left that company weeks after it was rocked by the "Antennagate" controversy on the latest iPhone.

Cisco said on Friday Papermaster has joined the networking giant as vice president of its silicon switching technology group.

Papermaster, who was in charge of iPhone engineering at Apple, left the company last summer. Apple has declined to provide a reason for his departure.

Apple released the iPhone 4 in June and the device has been an unqualified hit.

But the company found itself in a public relations nightmare when reports emerged about bad reception on the smartphone, which featured a new design with an antenna that wrapped around the outside.

The issue refused to go away and Apple was forced to call a news conference and give away free cases to address the matter.

Papermaster spent 25 years at IBM Corp (NYSE:IBM) before Apple lured him away in 2008.

IBM sued Papermaster after his departure, saying he agreed to avoid working for any competitor for a year.

A federal court initially barred Papermaster from working for Apple, but the lawsuit was eventually resolved and he began work for Apple in April of 2009. (Reporting by Gabriel Madway; editing by Andre Grenon)