Incoming Cisco CEO names new executive leadership team
Cisco's incoming CEO Chuck Robbins says the company's new leadership structure is "designed to accelerate innovation and execution in the digital age."
On June 4, Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) announced the new executive leadership team that incoming CEO Chuck Robbins has chosen to lead the organization into the next phase of its growth and success. According to a company press release, "the new team balances continuity in key positions with the elevation of the next generation of Cisco leaders from within the company, and world-class talent from outside of Cisco."
“The opportunity Cisco has to lead our customers into the digital age is incredible. The momentum we have in our business is undeniable. Our strategy is working, and with the leadership team I’m announcing today, I’m extremely confident we will move even faster, innovate like never before, and pull away from the competition,” said Robbins. “This is a remarkable team, with a diverse set of experiences, expertise and backgrounds to accelerate our innovation and execution, simplify how we do business, drive operational rigor in all we do, and inspire our amazing employees to be the best that they can be.”
Per the press release, the ten leaders who will sit on Cisco’s new executive leadership team are as follows:
Pankaj Patel, Executive Vice President, Chief Development Officer
Pankaj will continue to lead Cisco’s 25,000 development engineers and the company’s $36 billion technology portfolio. In the past two years, he refocused the company's engineering operations on high-growth opportunities such as cloud, mobility, data center, security, collaboration, software and the Internet of Everything and transformed engineering to accelerate innovation and drive efficiency into Cisco’s core engineering functions.
Kelly Kramer, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Promoted to Cisco CFO in early 2015, Kelly joined Cisco three years ago after spending 20 years at GE working across numerous divisions and countries around the world. She has driven a disciplined focus on Cisco’s financial model, and delivered on the company's commitments to its shareholders. She has quickly established herself as a business leader capable of partnering across and influencing the entire organization.
Rebecca Jacoby, Senior Vice President, Operations
Recognized by Forbes as a ‘superstar CIO,’ Rebecca’s leadership as Cisco’s Chief Information Technology Officer and strong track record of operational excellence, innovative problem solving and talent development have elevated the role of IT at Cisco. In her expanded role, she will oversee the global supply chain, global business services, security and trust, and IT.
Guillermo Diaz, Cisco senior vice president of IT, has been promoted to CIO reporting directly to Rebecca Jacoby. He has been accountable for the company's enterprise IT architecture, technology strategy, and IT services model.
Francine Katsoudas, Senior Vice President, Chief People Officer
The architect of Cisco’s people strategy since 2014, Fran has brought tremendous energy and innovation to revitalizing Cisco's approach to strategic workforce planning, emphasizing the skills and capabilities that employees need to be innovative in today's technology-driven environment. She was previously the HR leader and business partner to the Cisco engineering leadership team.
Hilton Romanski, Senior Vice President, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer
Hilton joins the Cisco executive leadership team from his previous role as head of Cisco's mergers and acquisitions strategy and Cisco’s $2 billion private investment portfolio. He has 20 years of experience investing in and acquiring private and public companies around the world and has been responsible for over $20 billion in acquisitions in 40 deals, including Meraki, Sourcefire and Airespace.
Karen Walker, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer
Karen steps into the role of chief marketing officer from her position overseeing Cisco’s go-to-market organization. In this capacity she led integrated global marketing strategy and the integration of in-country execution of brand campaigns. She brings more than 20 years experience in global IT marketing roles to the position. She joined Cisco from Hewlett-Packard in 2009.
Chris Dedicoat, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales
Chris joined Cisco in 1995 and has served as Senior Vice President of EMEAR for the past four years where he has led the region to solid growth in a very challenging market. Chris has demonstrated a keen understanding of technology and market opportunities, an ability to drive transformation, execution and an unparalleled ability to lead and motivate teams.
Joe Cozzolino, Senior Vice President, Services
Joe is stepping in to lead Cisco’s services organization after spending the past two years leading Cisco’s service provider mobility and video infrastructure businesses. He joined Cisco from Motorola in 2013 and brings more than 25 years of experience in engineering, general management, sales, and services leadership positions to his new role.
Mark Chandler, Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Recognized by industry publications such as The National Law Journal and American Lawyer as one of the most influential and innovative lawyers in the profession, Mark brings 19 years of experience leading Cisco’s legal, employee relations, ethics, investigations and brand protection experts to his new role as a member of the Cisco executive leadership team.
Dr. Ruba Borno, Vice President, Growth Initiatives and Chief of Staff
Ruba joins Cisco from her role as Principal and leader in the Technology, Media & Telecommunications, and People & Organization practice groups at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), one of the world’s leading advisors on business strategy. She is a distinguished electrical engineer with a Ph.D. and M.Sc. from the University of Michigan, and was an Intel Ph.D. Fellow at the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Research Center for Wireless Integrated MicroSystems. For the past seven years, Ruba has specialized in advising technology executives on corporate growth and transformation strategies.
In addition to these appointments, Cisco says also plans to conduct a comprehensive external search to fill a number of leadership roles for key strategic growth areas for the company.
Key Leaders to Serve as Strategic Advisors
With the aforementioned changes, Padmasree Warrior, Cisco's Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, and Edzard Overbeek, Senior Vice President of Services, will move into strategic advisor roles, effective immediately and stay through the transition. Meanwhile, Wim Elfrink, Cisco Executive Vice President for Industry Solutions and Chief Globalisation Officer, who opened Cisco’s second global headquarters in Bangalore, India, and helped define the company's vision for the next wave of the Internet (i.e. the Internet of Everything) will retire from the company, effective July 25.
Read a blog from Cisco's incoming CEO Chuck Robbins commenting on the new appointments.