Chuck Robbins named new Cisco CEO

Chuck Robbins

Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) has announced Chuck Robbins will replace John Chambers as CEO from July 26, 2015.

Cisco began the formal CEO succession process 16 months ago, searching internally and externally to find a new leader.

Robbins – currently SVP of worldwide operations – was also elected to the Cisco’s Board of Directors.

Cisco veteran Chambers (pictured with Robbins) will assume the role of executive chairman, and will continue to serve as the chairman of the company’s Board.

“This is the perfect time for Chuck Robbins to become Cisco’s next chief executive officer,” says Chambers. “We’ve selected a very strong leader at a time when Cisco is in a very strong position.

“Today’s pace of change is exponential. Every company, city and country is becoming digital, navigating disruptive markets, and Cisco’s role in the digital transformation has never been more important. Our next CEO needs to thrive in a highly dynamic environment, to be capable of accelerating what is working very well for Cisco, and disrupting what needs to change.”

He continues: “Chuck knows every Cisco segment, technology area, and geography, and will move the company forward with the speed required to capitalise on the opportunities in front of us. He is a champion of the Cisco culture and has an incredible ability to inspire, energise, and connect with employees, partners, customers and global leaders. Chuck’s vision, strategy and execution track record is exactly what Cisco needs as we enter our next chapter, which I am confident will be even more impactful and exciting than our last.”

Robbins leads the vendor’s global sales and partner team that drives $47bn in business for the company. Cisco’s partner programme is worth more than $40bn in revenue to the company each year.

He has been a key architect of the company’s strategy for the commercial business segment, which now represents 25 percent of Cisco’s total business. He has also sponsored the security and collaboration businesses at the executive level and was a sponsor for the Sourcefire and Meraki acquisitions.

“I joined Cisco 17 years ago because I wanted to be a part of a company where I believed the possibilities were limitless. Today, I am even more convinced that Cisco is that company,” comments Robbins, who adds “the opportunity that lies ahead for Cisco is enormous, and the ability to lead this next chapter is deeply humbling and incredibly exhilarating.”

Chambers has served as CEO of Cisco since January 1995, having joined the company in 1991 as the head of sales. He has led the company from $1.2bn in annual revenue to its current run rate of $48bn. Also, non-GAAP earnings per share during Chambers’ leadership has grown more than 3,000 percent.

Last week at its annual Global Partner Summit, Cisco announced it was bolstering its software business with a dedicated programme for partners, and revealed a number of changes to its cloud and managed services programme.


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