Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco Systems

Published: June 4th, 2015

Chuck Robbins is moving quickly. The newly named successor to John Chambers at Cisco is still about 50 days away from taking over the corner office at the networking giant and he has already put his leadership team in place.

What’s most interesting about Robbins’ leadership team is not necessarily who’s on it but who isn’t going to be part of the squad that will take Cisco into the future.

Padmasree Warrior
Padmasree Warrior

Robbins announced in a blog post that high profile CTO Padmasree Warrior will be leaving the company sometime this summer. Warrior is a highly respected leader in the IT industry who spearheaded Cisco’s long term strategy. The number of people following Warrior on Twitter has become the stuff of legend. Currently Warrior has more than 1.4 million Twitter followers. Compare that with other women leaders in the IT industry and it pales in comparison. For example, HP CEO Meg Whitman has 235,000 Twitter followers, while IBM CEO Ginni Rometty has a measly 13,400 or so people follower her on Twitter. Even Chuck Robbins has only 4,537 Twitter followers.

Robbins said of Warrior that her impact helped Cisco finalize many important alliances.

Also leaving is Wim Elfrink, Cisco’s Chief Globalization Officer who opened the company’s second global headquarters in Bangalore, India. And, Edzard Overbeek, Cisco’s services chief. Overbeek was selected about a year ago as one of three possible successors to Chambers along with Robbins and Rob Lloyd.

Overbeek’s departure is somewhat surprising as he was considered the long shot of the three named.

Watch a video interview CDN conducted with Overbeek at the recently concluded Cisco Partner Summit in Montreal. 

As for Robbins’s new team the biggest step up in weight class is Pankaj Patel to the post of executive vice president of development. Patel basically takes over the duties of Rob Lloyd and Warrior at Cisco. He will be in charge of 25,000 development engineers and the company’s $36 billion technology portfolio. Basically Patel will develop Cisco’s technology future.

To no one’s surprise Rebecca Jacoby and Chris Dedicoat get big time promotions. Dedicoat will be in charge of worldwide sales, a post Lloyd held for years. Jacoby was the CIO but now she will be the executive vice president of operations. She is seen as Gary Moore’s replacement. Moore was the COO.

The other significant promotion is with Karen Walker. The interim tag has been officially dropped from her title and the former HP executive will be the new chief marketing officer.

Other members of the Cisco leadership team are:

  • Kelly Kramer, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer;
  • Francine Katsoudas, Senior Vice President, Chief People Officer;
  • Joe Cozzolino, Senior Vice President, Services;
  • Hilton Romanski, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology and Strategy Officer;
  • Mark Chandler, Senior Vice President and General Counsel; and
  • Ruba Borno, VP, Growth Initiatives and Chief of Staff.

Missing from Robbins’ announcement was details on possible changes to the Worldwide Partner Organization lead by Bruce Klein.

One quick hit before I go. Stephen DiFranco is the new senior vice president of worldwide channels for Broadcom Corp. DiFranco was the channel chief for HP’s enterprise business unit for more than five years. Previous to that he ran channels for Lenovo, AMD, and Maxtor. CDN wishes DiFranco the best of luck at his new company. Broadcom was founded by Anaheim Ducks owner Henry Samueli.