Home / Companies / People /  Cisco appoints veteran Robbins to succeed Chambers as CEO

San Francisco: Cisco Systems Inc. appointed company veteran Chuck Robbins to succeed John Chambers as chief executive officer, about a year ahead of schedule.

Robbins assumes his new post on 26 July. Chambers, 65, had said he would step down by the end of the fiscal year that ends in July 2016. Chambers will become executive chairman, the San Jose, California-based company said Monday.

The announcement marks the end of one of the longest runs for a CEO of a publicly traded technology company. As CEO of Cisco for two decades, Chambers was one of the most prominent spokesmen for the boom that transformed the Internet into a communications network that redefined how we work, communicate and get entertainment.

He charted the rise that briefly made Cisco the world’s most valuable company and later navigated the company through the dot-com bust, the recent economic crisis and the advent of a fresh crop of competitors that are creating less-expensive ways to design and manage computer networks.

Chambers has had to replenish senior leadership ranks in recent years after overhauling a management structure that, according to investors and former employees, slowed decision making and drove out would-be successors. Chambers had identified Robbins as a possible successor as early as 2012.

Robbins joined Cisco in 1997. He most recently served as the networking company’s senior vice president of worldwide operations, leading the company’s global sales and partners team, which the company said generates $47 billion in business. He was also an architect of the company’s strategy for the commercial-business segment, which represents 25 percent of Cisco’s total business, Cisco said. Robbins was elected to the board effective 1 May.

Cisco shares fell 0.2% to $29.08 at 9.15am New York time. Through Friday, the stock had added 4.7% this year.

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