Cisco CEO's departure signals shift in technology era

The company's current SVP of worldwide operations, Chuck Robbins, will formally succeed Cisco's longtime CEO John Chambers as of July 26.

Cisco CEO's departure signals shift in technology era
Cisco CEO's departure signals shift in technology era

Incoming Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins

As reported at Reuters, "Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) Chief Executive John Chambers will step down in July after 20 years at the helm of the network equipment maker, a symbol of the stock boom 15 years ago now struggling to boost its bottom line in the era of cloud computing...Company veteran Chuck Robbins, 49, will take over as CEO. The 65-year-old Chambers, one of the longest-serving leaders of a Silicon Valley company and also company chairman, will become executive chairman, the company said on Monday."

Currently the company's senior vice president of worldwide operations, Robbins will formally succeed current CEO Chambers as of July 26; Chambers will become Cisco's board executive chairman on the same date.'s sister site Lightwave notes that "Robbins joined [Chambers] on the board effective this past May 1 [and] joined Cisco in 1997. Among his achievements during his tenure, Cisco reports [that he]: led the company's global sales and partner team; led and executed several investments and strategy shifts, including Cisco's partner program and strategy for the commercial business segment; sponsored the security and collaboration businesses at the executive level; and sponsored the Sourcefire and Meraki acquisitions."

See also:DHL, Cisco predict Internet of Things to boost to warehouse supply chain, logistics operations by $1.9 trillion

Why Cisco CEO John Chambers had to go. MarketWatch investing columnist Philip Van Doorn describes how the the San Jose, California-based computer-networking company’s stock, owing to sluggish sales growth, has been lackluster compared with rivals, and says its "shareholders deserve someone who can kick-start growth."

The Wall Street Journal's Don Clark avers that "Cisco’s new CEO is an insider, sales pro [and that] personality was a key factor in [its] board's decision to select Robbins."

Wall Street Journal culture and technology reporter Rani Molla produced the following chart comparing Cisco's market capitalization since 1995 compared to its peers in the networking industry.

A look at @Cisco and its peers 20 years ago, now and at their peak:

— Rani Molla (@ranimolla) May 5, 2015

The New York Times' Quentin Hardy chronicles the advancement of a generational shift in "the passing of one tech era and the beginning of another." “[Cisco's John T. Chambers] is the last of the lions, presiding over years of incredible growth,” said George Colony, chief executive of market research firm Forrester Research, as quoted by the report.

Robert Hackett at Fortune sorts out why Cisco's board chose Chuck Robbins to lead as CEO.

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