It’s been a little over a year since Chuck Robbins took the reins at Cisco from the venerated John Chambers. In that time, the face and pace of the IT realm has transformed — from Dell buying EMC and HP splitting up to the swift rise of IoT and harsh impact of security challenges. Robbins has embraced this rapid change and, he says in this wide-ranging interview, moved the company forward with relentless speed to address everything from hyperconvergence to application-centric infrastructures.
Robbins recently talked with Chief Content Officer of IDG US Media John Gallant and Michael Cooney, a Network World Online News Editor, about how the company will transform now that some of its most well-respected innovators have left the company as well as how it plans to further implement SDN technology while bolstering its core networking gear.
John Gallant: You and I first spoke just a couple of days before you started as CEO, a little more than a year ago. How is Cisco a different company today and what would you point to as your major accomplishments during that period?
When I took the role, John, we talked about my desire to move with greater speed. I wanted to drive a level of clarity and simplicity internally in how we communicated. I wanted to create a leadership structure that gave us the opportunity to do both of those things. I also was very interested in evolving our portfolio to one that comprised more recurring revenue made up of subscription and software and SaaS-type businesses and overall I’m pleased with the progress that we’ve made. We worked hard on communicating more clearly to all constituents; customers, partners, press, as well as our investors. We’ve begun to articulate how our business model transition will occur and I believe the speed aspect is reflected in what I think is the incredibly robust pipeline of innovation over the next six, 12, 18 months that the teams are working on right now. I’m very pleased with where we are.