SAN FRANCISCO — Former Cisco chief technical officer Padmasree Warrior is a painter and a haiku poet, as well as one of the leading female executives in the technology world.

For her, art and technology are interlinked. Creating art — and she emphasized that she is an amateur artist — involves some of the same challenges of communication and innovation as creating new tech products, she said.

She also spoke about how art helped her do weekly “digital detox” and get some much-needed perspective on her job, at a time when she was working seven days a week without a break. In that way, doing art is similar to getting exercise or other recreational activities: You might not feel like you have time to do it, but it actually helps.

“If you do take that time off, and you come back, you’re more effective,” Warrior said.

“Whatever allows you to not think about work — art, running, unstructured time — makes you a better person,” she said.

Warrior spoke onstage at the Bloomberg Tech conference today, in a talk titled “The Art and Science of Code.”

Warrior has been at Cisco since 2008. In recent years, she’s been working on acquisitions, and singled out Cisco’s purchases of Meraki and Sourcefire as particular highlights.

“The time is right in the industry to do something different,” she said. “For myself, I want to go do something that’s very different.”

Some of her haiku, which she often posts to her Twitter account:

Where thoughts come to rest
Every spot a memory
Blissful with flaws, Home

Rumble of ocean
Footprints gone, not forgotten
Same sand, a new path

Warrior took a seat on Box’s board of directors in March 2014. She stepped down as Cisco’s CTO on June 2, but remains a strategic advisor to the company.

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