A few days prior at the Cisco Partner Summit in Montreal I was in an hour long question and answer session with Cisco CEO John Chambers and with him was Robbins. I could not help but think at the time could Robbins succeed Chambers? He was announced as one of three possible successors. The other two Canadian Rob Lloyd, the President of sales and development for Cisco (he also led the Internet of Everything team) and Edzard Overbeek, Cisco’s services chief.
Today, we learn through a blog post by Robbins that Lloyd will be leaving the networking giant after 21 years of service. Following him is Gary Moore. Both Moore and Lloyd were the only two presidents at Cisco. Going forward Robbins declared there will be no more President roles.
On Day 1 of EMC World as I hastily Tweeted out the news and started preparing coverage of the big news, the thought came through my mind of how long was Lloyd going to be involved with Cisco?
When you are up for the Cisco CEO job and you don’t get it; it must be like being one number short from winning the big lotto jackpot.
So this news does not surprise me at all. You have to understand that when you are in-line to become the next CEO of Cisco, one of the top five leadership positions in computing, and you do not get that post; sticking around is not a great option.
Sure Kevin Turner is still walking the halls of Microsoft after Satya Nadella became CEO, but word on the street is that he was rewarded handsomely for being loyal.
For an accomplished executive such as Lloyd you have to look elsewhere. And, there will be several other organizations who will be calling on him to lead their company. A new challenge will be forthcoming for Lloyd in short order.
Robbins said of Lloyd that he was a big part of Cisco’s innovation and transformation. Lloyd’s vision, along with Moore, provided a strong foundation that enabled Cisco to lead in the digital age.
Part of the reason for these changes is Robbins’ focus to acceleration and simplify operational rigor and culture. “Going forward, we will move to a flatter leadership team designed for the speed, innovation and execution that is required of us over the next decade.”
Robbins is currently putting the finishing touches on Cisco’s new organizational structure and leadership team. Expect that in two weeks’ time.
There were many Canadian solution providers who openly rooted for Lloyd to be named the next CEO, but I don’t think there will be too many fences to mend here for Robbins. The Canadian channel knows this is just business and the one thing they liked about Robbins’ background is that he ran channels that included Canada.
CDN wishes Rob Lloyd the very best in his future career choices. Lloyd has always been gracious with his time with reporters from CDN and other ITWC publications and I for one really appreciated it.