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Hooper's Ascent Continues at Cisco

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) hasn't formally named an heir to CEO John Chambers, but a promotion today could make Ned Hooper even more of a candidate.

Hooper was named Cisco's chief strategy officer today -- and that's in addition to already being senior vice president of corporate development team and head of Cisco's consumer division.

Hooper's new job has him working with CTO Padmasree Warrior and the multi-executive Development Council to plot Cisco's course into new business strategies and what Cisco calls adjacent markets -- the 30 or more peripheral areas in which Cisco wants to expand.

He'll help steer Cisco through major market transitions -- and Chambers likes to point out that one of Cisco's primary strengths is in the way it weathers such changes.

Hooper, who's been at Cisco 11 years, already had plenty of visibility, having watched over Cisco's merger strategy. And his consumer division is home to one of Cisco's head-turning purchase of Pure Digital, makers of the Flip handheld camera. (See Cisco's Latest Buy: Flippin' Sweet and Cisco Banks on Video Growth.)

In February, Chambers noted he'd agreed to a business plan that could expand the consumer division to a $10 billion-a-year business. (See Cisco Keeps the Service Provider Faith.)

Late in 2007, Chambers had committed to stay at Cisco for at least another "three to five years" (meaning, through 2010 or 2012.) Still, analysts have wondered about a line of succession at Cisco, and some have pointed to Hooper as an eventual CEO candidate. (See Changes Run Deep at Cisco and Cisco's Next Heir.)

Many had assumed Charles Giancarlo, once Cisco's chief development officer, to be Cisco's next CEO, but once Chambers extended his stay, Giancarlo left for private equity firm Silver Lake Partners . There, he took a turn as interim CEO of Avaya Inc. . (See Giancarlo Quits Cisco, Paddles to Silver Lake, Giancarlo Steps in at Avaya, and JDSU's Kennedy Lands at Avaya.)

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

COMMENTS Add Comment
Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:51:17 PM
re: Hooper's Ascent Continues at Cisco

Following the Cisco analyst day, where Hooper had a very visible role, Reuters writes this:

Cisco's Strategy Chief Emerges as CEO Contender

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