Feeds

Cisco taps chief strategy officer

Mergers and acquisitions man

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Networking giant and server wannabe Cisco Systems has elevated Ned Hooper - currently its senior vice president of corporate development and consumer - to the expanded role of chief strategy officer.

Hooper has been at Cisco for the past eleven years and came to the company when Cisco acquired Lightspeed International in January 1996 for $160m in stock. Lightspeed was a maker of chips and software for transforming and transmitting voice traffic over Internet protocol switches and routers and that allowed different types of telco networks (such as SS7 and broadband) to connect to telecom PBXs and gateways in the early days of Voice over IP.

During his career at Cisco, Hooper rose to the position of vice president of business development and spearheaded many of the acquisitions that Cisco has made in the past decade, including Linksys (consumer routers), Scientific Atlanta (set-top boxes), WebEx (Webcasting), IronPort Systems (security appliances), Airspace (wireless networking), and Pure Digital (Flip video camera). By Cisco's accounting, the deals that Hooper has done have added an additional $5bn to the top line since 2002.

Hooper's most recent and elevated title already included a broadening of his responsibilities, and being tapped as chief strategy officer for the whole company now makes him the point-man on developing Cisco's business strategy and plans of attack as Cisco expands into new markets. Such as making key acquisitions, as Cisco tries to become a player in the server racket with its "California" Unified Computing System, which debuted in March.

Like IBM, Cisco can't afford to lose a key mergers and acquisition executive to a competitor, and it is doing long-range executive seasoning for the day when its top executive retires. IBM's Sam Palmisano, who holds all the cards (president, chief executive officer, and chairman) and who is currently 58 years old, will probably retire in 2011, and the company has just lost David Johnson, its top M&A expert, to rival Dell.

The one thing Cisco surely does not want to have happen is for Hooper to get a sweet deal from one of its rivals - particularly its new server rivals - as an M&A expert. So elevating Hooper's title and giving him control of strategy is one way of keeping him at Cisco.

While John Chambers, who has the roles of chairman and chief executive officer at Cisco and who is 59, explained earlier this year that he intends to stay at Cisco for "a minimum of three to five more years," Cisco has to get other executives ready to take over and quite possible to split up some roles that Chambers covers.

This is one reason why we see so much of Padmasree Warrior, Cisco's chief technology officer, these days. Cisco does not have a president. It has a chief financial officer (not a path to the top, usually), plus five senior vice presidents (one of them is Hooper) and five executive vice presidents. Warrior is not one of the SVPs or EVPs. Watch for Warrior to get an elevated role and an expanded title soon. Cisco can't afford to lose her either. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.