Cisco CTO Departs As Robbins Shakes Up Management Team


Padmasree Warrior is the latest departure from networking firm

Cisco has announced the new members of its management team, following on from the announcement last month that CEO John Chambers will step down on July 26 after 20 years in the role.

His successor, current head of global sales and partners, has promoted a number of Cisco employees and appointed several outside candidates to press ahead with what he says will be the company’s next phase of growth and success.

The most high profile casualty is chief technology and strategy officer Padmasree Warrior, who will leave the company after serving a period as an advisor to her replacement, Hilmon Romanski, who was previously Cisco’s mergers and acquisitions head.

Cisco management team

Padmasree Warrior CiscoWim Elfrink, chief globalisation officer, and Edward Overbeek, senior vice president of Cisco services, will also step down. Earlier this week, President Rob Lloyd and chief operating officer Gary Moore also announced their departures.

“Padmasree has led the success of many of our strategic partnerships and will remain with us until September to help finalize some of our key partnerships for the future,” said Robbins. “I am grateful for the impact she’s had on Cisco and her commitment to helping us finalize these important alliances.”

Pankaj Patel will continue as chief development officer, Kelly Kramer remains chief financial officer while Rebecca Jacoby has been promoted from chief information officer to senior vice president of operations. She will be replaced by Guillermo Diaz, previously senior vice president of IT.

Francie Katsoudas is chief people officer, Karen Walker is chief marketing officer and Chris Dedicoat has been promoted to head of worldwide sales. Mark Chandler is named a senior vice president and general counsel, while Ruba Borno has joined from the Boston Consulting Group to become chief of staff.

Changing of the guard

“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,” added Robbins.

Cisco’s board spent 16 months trying to find a successor to Chambers and eventually settled on an internal candidate. Robbins arrived at Cisco in 1997, moving up the ranks to assume the position of senior vice president of worldwide operations. In this role, Cisco claims he created the “industry’s most powerful partner program” and it is this “reinvention” of the company’s sales operations that have earned him this latest promotion.

It is expected that Robbins will accelerate Cisco’s desire to move beyond networking into other enterprise IT services, such as converged infrastructure, analytics and security.

Chambers is the latest long-serving technology CEO to step down. Last year, Oracle chief Larry Ellison ended his 37-year reign to become executive chairman and CTO of the company he helped create and in 2013, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer revealed his retirement plans.

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