Cisco’s annual user event, Cisco Live, is being held in Orlando, Florida, this week. While Orlando is home to DisneyWorld, Universal Studios and other places where fantasies come true, the one thing that isn’t make-believe is the turnaround of Cisco since Chuck Robbins took over as CEO. When the baton was passed to Robbins in August of 2015, Cisco’s stock was trading at about $25/share and had been moving sideways for years. Today, it’s trading at about $45/share and at a 17-year high, and the turnaround is well underway.
Cisco goes back to the network
How did Robbins get Cisco’s mojo’s back in such a short period of time? The answer lies in its roots and a refocus on the network. In fact, when Robbins took over as CEO, I wrote a post outlining some priorities for him as he stepped into the role. My first point was to approach IT through the lens of the network. In the years leading up to the transition to Robbins, I felt Cisco had tried too hard to prove itself as a server and traditional IT vendor instead of staying true to networking.