Cisco No. 2 Resigns At Critical Juncture - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

05:33 PM

Cisco No. 2 Resigns At Critical Juncture

Charlie Giancarlo was widely seen as the most likely successor to chairman and CEO John Chambers.

Networking vendor Cisco Systems is losing one of its top strategists and deepest thinkers at a time when the company is undergoing one of the biggest market transitions in its 24-year history.

Chief development officer Charlie Giancarlo, 50, widely seen as the most likely successor to chairman and CEO John Chambers, said Thursday he will step down at the end of the year to become a managing director at private equity firm Silver Lake. Giancarlo is the second top executive to leave Cisco this year, following the departure of CFO Dennis Powell.

Giancarlo's resignation comes as a surprise to most analysts and could be a blow to Chambers' much publicized strategy for what he calls "Cisco 3.0." At the Cisco C-Scape Global Forum in San Jose, Calif., earlier this month, Giancarlo took the lead in outlining the new strategy for a Cisco focused on providing all forms of business communication and collaboration to its enterprise partners. Chambers has long sought a way to move the company beyond its core "plumbing and transport" business of providing network infrastructure to large corporations.

"We're happy to sell more switches and routers," Giancarlo said in a presentation that immediately followed Chambers' introduction to the conference, "but this is about huge new markets being created. We're going to be moving from millions to billions of users."

Giancarlo joined Cisco in 1993 with the acquisition of Kalpana. The list of technology initiatives that he has launched and spearheaded since then comprises all the areas that Chambers is counting on to lead this transformation: unified communications, wireless networking, video, and telepresence.

Giancarlo has also played a key role in the reorganization of Cisco's top echelon into a seven-person Development Council that will drive the emerging-technology markets key to the company's growth strategy in the coming years.

"The Development Council is one example of how this new structure will drive collaboration to effectively address market opportunities, drive efficiency and quality, and foster innovation," Chambers said in a statement announcing Giancarlo's resignation.

Giancarlo's departure leaves the company with no obvious successor to the charismatic Chambers, who has said that he intends to step down as CEO in the next three to five years.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Augmented Analytics Drives Next Wave of AI, Machine Learning, BI
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/19/2020
How Startup Innovation Can Help Enterprises Face COVID-19
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  3/24/2020
Enterprise Guide to Robotic Process Automation
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  3/23/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Current Issue
IT Careers: Tech Drives Constant Change
Advances in information technology and management concepts mean that IT professionals must update their skill sets, even their career goals on an almost yearly basis. In this IT Trend Report, experts share advice on how IT pros can keep up with this every-changing job market. Read it today!
Flash Poll