Cisco CEO Robbins set to replace Chambers as exec chairman

James Pearce
Published on:

Former CEO John Chambers will step down from his role as exec chairman in December, with the board planning to appoint current chief executive Chuck Robbins to the role

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins is set to be named executive chairman after the man currently holding the role, John Chambers, notified the board he will not stand for re-election in December.

Chambers became Cisco’s executive chairman in July 2015, having served as CEO at the company for more than two decades from 1995, in which he grew Cisco from a $1.2 billion revenue vendor to more than $50 billion.

"John's tremendous vision, energy and passion helped Cisco become the great company it is today," said Carol Bartz, lead independent director, Cisco Board of Directors. 

"John's leadership helped bring the internet to billions of people around the world, enabling them to access information, build connections and improve their lives. At the right time, he initiated and brought to fruition a CEO succession process that resulted in the right person, Chuck Robbins, leading the company into the future. We owe John a debt of great gratitude for his extraordinary service to Cisco."

The Cisco board said it plans to appoint Robbins as Chambers’ replacement when his term expires at the firm’s annual shareholders meeting in December. Chambers will then be given an honoury title of chairman emeritus.

It also plans to reduce the size of its board from 12 to 11 members, ten of whom will be independent directors.

Robbins, who took over the role of CEO from Chambers, said: “John's brilliant mind, compassion and charismatic leadership have helped shape Cisco for over 20 years, and for that we are all grateful

"John's influence on the industry is immense and he built Cisco around a culture of integrity and innovation that will continue to serve our employees, partners and customers for decades to come. I have no doubt he will continue to have a lasting impact with his future endeavors."