Cisco CEO Robbins to Head Board, Chambers Won't Seek Reelection

Cisco CEO Robbins to Head Board, Chambers Won't Seek Reelection”

Executive Chairman John Chambers will not stand for re-election in December, the company said Monday. Cisco has a mandatory retirement age of 70 for board members. Current CEO Chuck Robbins will take over as Cisco chairman.

Robbins has been busily revamping Cisco, shifting it toward cloud software and away from an eroding computer network equipment market, the market that Cisco still dominates.

Chambers served as CEO of Cisco from January 1995 to July 26, 2015, having joined the company in 1991 as the head of sales. That surge stalled as the networking industry changed, and Cisco hasn't had a double-digit percentage year of revenue expansion-typical under Chambers leadership-since 2010. Chambers has, however, made numerous appearances around the world on behalf of the vendor.

Chambers became Cisco's executive chairman in 2015 when he stepped down after 20 years as Cisco's chief executive.

Robbins has also strategically disaggregated the company's hardware and software and migrated to selling the software as a service. Much of that effort is coming through a string of acquisitions, such as the August announcement of its $320 million purchase of Springpath Inc., a provider of software used in data centres.

When Chambers first took over at Cisco, the company's annual revenue was $1.2 billion, and that figure reached $50 billion at the end of his tenure.

It is looking to reduce its board size to 11 members from the annual general meeting in December, 10 of which will be independent directors.

The stock, which was unchanged in premarket trade in NY, has gained 7.4% year to date, while the Nasdaq has rallied 23% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has climbed 13%, data show.

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