Cisco announces new CEO’s executive team, more departures

CTO, Services, Solutions chiefs out; Nine elevated internally, one from outside

Cisco this week announced its leadership team under new CEO Chuck Robbins and three more high-level executives transitioning out of the company.

Robbins’ leadership team includes 10 executives, nine from inside Cisco and one from outside the company. Several current officials are being elevated to or assigned new responsibilities.

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Leaving the company are Wim Elfrink, executive vice president for Industry Solutions and chief globalization officer; Edzard Overbeek, senior vice president of Services; and as expected, Padmasree Warrior, CTO and chief strategy officer.

Elfrink will retire July 25 when Cisco’s 2015 fiscal year ends and the day before Robbins assumes leadership of the company. Warrior and Overbeek will serve as strategic advisers until September and for a year, respectively.

They join Cisco Presidents Rob Lloyd and Gary Moore whose positions were eliminated this week. Robbins is dismantling most of the leadership team assembled by predecessor and current CEO John Chambers, who is stepping down as CEO July 26 after 20 years to become executive chairman.

Robbins wasn’t expected to detail his leadership team until mid-June but a Cisco spokesperson said he accelerated the announcement. The team is:

  • Ruba Borno, Vice President of Growth Initiatives and Chief of Staff -- A new position, Borno was recruited from business strategy adviser Boston Consulting Group where she had been principal and leader in Technology, Media & Telecommunications, and People & Organization. She had been at BCG for eight years. She holds Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees from the University of Michigan, where she was also an Intel Ph.D. Fellow.
  • Mark Chandler, Senior Vice President and General Counsel -- Chandler will retain his current position.
  • Joe Cozzolino, Senior Vice President, Services -- Cozzolio is replacing Overbeek in this role. He spent the past two years in Cisco’s service provider mobility and video infrastructure businesses. He joined Cisco from Motorola in 2013 and is a 25-year industry veteran.
  • Chris Dedicoat, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales -- This appointment was announced earlier this week by Cisco. Dedicoat joined Cisco in 1995 and has served as senior vice president of EMEA for the past four years.
  • Rebecca Jacoby, Senior Vice President, Operations -- This appointment was expected. Jacoby had been Cisco’s CIO but will now be responsible for Cisco’s global supply chain, global business services, security and “trust,” and IT. Her replacement as CIO is Guillermo Diaz, formerly Cisco senior vice president of IT.
  • Kelly Kramer, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer -- Kramer was named Cisco CFO in early 2015. She joined Cisco three years ago after spending 20 years at GE.
  • Hilton Romanski, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer -- Romanski’s previous role was head of Cisco's mergers and acquisitions strategy and $2 billion private investment portfolio. He has been responsible for over $20 billion in acquisitions in 40 deals, including Meraki, Sourcefire and Airespace.
  • Karen Walker, Chief Marketing Officer -- Walker takes over for Blair Christie, Cisco’s highly visible CMO, who is taking a leave of absence but will return as a strategic adviser. Walker has responsibility for overall marketing, including overseeing Cisco’s go-to-market organization. She joined Cisco from HP in 2009.

The Cisco spokesperson said Robbins is also keen on adding external talent to fuel key growth areas, such as security, mobility, data center, Internet of Everything and cloud.

The spokesperson said Cisco’s star spin-in engineers – Mario Mazzola, Prem Jain, Luca Cafiero and Soni Jiandani, some or all believed to be leaving later this year -- continue to focus on ramping the company’s new Application Centric Infrastructure product line. The spokesperson noted that incentives tied to their most recent spin-in, Insieme, would continue through Cisco's fiscal year 2017 but he would not comment on the future for these officials at Cisco.


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