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John Chambers IDs Potential Successors

Michelle Donegan
News Analysis
Michelle Donegan

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) Chairman and CEO John Chambers has told Bloomberg in an interview that he may retire in two to four years and named some of the individuals who could take over Cisco's helm.

There are at least 10 people on the succession list, which the company's board of directors reviews quarterly. According to Chambers, that list includes: Gary Moore, chief operating officer; Robert Lloyd, executive VP of worldwide operations; Chuck Robbins, senior VP of the Americas; and Edzard Overbeek, senior VP of global services.

Chambers reportedly said that Cisco's next CEO will probably come from within the company and that he would stay on as chairman if the board wants him to.

Bloomberg's article also reported that Chambers said some small acquisitions were planned to help the company grow in the areas of "video, collaboration, virtual data centers, mobility and security."

Chambers has been CEO of Cisco since January 1995.

Why this matters
The subject of Chambers' successor has been long discussed, but this appears to be the first time that the Cisco man has named some of the candidates who could replace him and specified the timeframe for when that change could happen.

The revelation follows some senior executive departures, the most recent of which was Chief Strategy Officer Ned Hooper. (See Cisco's Chief Strategy Officer Quits and Hooper's Ascent Continues at Cisco.) For more

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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12/5/2012 | 5:20:22 PM
re: John Chambers IDs Potential Successors

One of the statements that caught my attention was that "Chambers said some small acquisitions were planned to help the company grow in the areas of video, collaboration, virtual data centers, mobility and security."

Today Cisco announced the acquisition of Thinksmart. There were also some rumors of Cisco planning to acquire Acme Packet. Is there any truth to this rumor? I wonder which other companies they are looking at?

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