Cisco has announced that John Chambers, the firm’s Executive Chairman, has notified the Cisco Board of Directors that he will not stand for re-election to the board of directors in December. The Board plans to appoint Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins to serve as chairman when Chambers’ term expires at the annual meeting of shareholders on December 11, 2017. At that time, John will also be given the honorary title of Chairman Emeritus.
John Chambers was named executive chairman on July 26, 2015. As executive chairman Chambers has focused on supporting Robbins and engaging closely with customers and governments around the world through Cisco’s Country Digitization initiatives. Chambers served as CEO of Cisco from January 1995 to July 26, 2015, having joined the company in 1991 as the head of sales. During his time as CEO, he built the company from US $1.2 billion in annual revenue to nearly US $50 billion.
(TOP: John Chambers, Cisco’s long-serving CEO who’s set to step down as board chair).
“John’s brilliant mind, compassion and charismatic leadership have helped shape Cisco for over 20 years, and for that we are all grateful,” said Chuck Robbins, CEO, Cisco. “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.”
“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.”
Chuck Robbins assumed the role as Cisco CEO on July 26, 2015. At the Annual Meeting, the Cisco Board is expected to reduce the size of the Board to eleven members, ten of whom will be independent directors. The Board’s charter ensures that the lead independent director plays a critical role in leading corporate governance.
Chambers has spent his entire career life at Cisco, joining the IT firm in 1991 as the global head of sales before rising to CEO in 1995, a role he held he till mid 2015, almost 20 years.