A change of guard at tech giant Cisco. Long-time CEO John Chambers, who has served as the head of the company for the last 20 or so years, is being replaced by Chuck Robbins as CEO, effective July 26, 2015. Chambers isn’t leaving Cisco entirely, taking up the role of executive chairman at the point of handover and will continue to serve as the chairman of Cisco’s board.
Robbins, who has also been elected to the company’s board, joined Cisco back in 1997 and most recently served as its senior vice president of worldwide operations, where he’s said to have led the company’s global sales and partner team responsible for driving $47 billion in business for the company. Or so the PR goes. He was involved in Cisco’s acquisition of Sourcefire and Meraki.
“This is the perfect time for Chuck Robbins to become Cisco’s next Chief Executive Officer. We’ve selected a very strong leader at a time when Cisco is in a very strong position,” said Chambers, in a statement.
“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.”
In the midst of disruption, changes are clearly already afoot at Cisco. Last year the company trimmed its workforce by 8 percent in a bid to cut its cost structure. More recently, and more positively, it announced that it was to invest $100 million in French startups.