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In Pictures: New Cisco CEO - Meet the real Chuck Robbins

Cisco’s choice of Chuck Robbins, Senior VP of Worldwide Field Operations, as the company’s next CEO came as a surprise given that two Cisco presidents were seen as frontrunners for the job.

  • New man in charge Cisco’s choice of Chuck Robbins, Senior VP of Worldwide Field Operations, as the company’s next CEO came as a surprise given that two Cisco presidents were seen as frontrunners for the job. But a look at the 49-year-old Robbins’ background might explain why he is being given the reins of this $47 billion networking company. He’s not just a sales guy…

  • Rocky Mount High Robbins was educated in North Carolina, graduating from Rocky Mount High School, whose other notable alumni include former North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley and ex-NBA player Phil Ford. He earned his B.S. in Mathematical Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1987.

  • Apps builder Robbins started his career as an application developer for North Carolina National Bank, now better known as Bank of America. He worked for the bank for five years.

  • Selling at Wellfleet Next up for Robbins was a sales job in the early/mid 1990s at Cisco router rival Wellfleet Communications, a company that merged with SynOptics in a $2.7 billion deal to form Bay Networks to better compete vs. Cisco. Robbins had a brief stint at Ascend Communications before moving on to Cisco in 1997.

  • Sales at Cisco Robbins hasn’t stayed stagnant at Cisco, racking up a bunch of titles, from account manager to regional manager to operations director to VP to SVP Americas to SVP Worldwide.

  • A Rah-Rah guy You can get a little glimpse of Robbins’ personality via his Twitter account @ChuckRobbins. It’s most rah-rah sales stuff with LOTS of !!!! and some UNC Tarheels support thrown in. But he does show a sense of humor, too, such as when his daughter got her driver’s license.

  • Outside interests Outside of Cisco, Robbins serves on the board for the MS Society of Northern California, and the Georgia Tech Advisory Board for the President of Georgia Tech.

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