Ned Hooper, who joined 11 years ago through an acquisition, will now look for new deals in an expanded role at the communications gear giant.

Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), which employs some 4,500 people including contractors at its Triangle campus, on Wednesday named Hooper as its chief strategy officer. He already was the company’s senior vice president of corporate development and consumer.

In his expanded role, Hooper will look for new business strategies and opportunities as well as acquisitions and investment opportunities.

"As Cisco continues to focus on alignment and optimization of resources, making strategic investments in our business, and moving into market adjacencies, having seamless integration between business strategy and our technology vision is critical," said John Chambers, chairman and chief executive officer of Cisco, in a statement. "With his outstanding track record of success, I am very confident in Ned’s ability to help Cisco capitalize on our opportunities and drive the company’s business strategy as we meet our customers’ evolving expectations of their technology and business needs."

Hooper joined Cisco when Cisco acquired Lightspeed International. He was director of business development at Lightspeed.

At Cisco he took on a business development role and helped lead the company through acquisitions of Linksys, Scientific Atlanta, Webex and IronPort.

Hooper is a University of Colorado graduate and earned an MBA at the University of Virginia.