Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO) employs thousands of people in Research Triangle Park at one of its largest corporate campuses. But the North Carolina impact on the technology giant will have a more powerful tar Heel influence on company direction soon. Its new CEO come July is a graduate of Rocky Mount Senior High and UNC-Chapel Hill.

Meet Chuck Robbins, who was disclosed Monday as the unanimous choice of a Cisco search committee to replace tech icon John Chambers in July.

“I began my career as an application developer, as I enjoyed creating technology that solved business problems in new ways. I also thrived on creating technology that people simply loved. I still have that passion today,” he says in his profile at LinkedIn.

“As a sales leader and executive at Cisco for over 17 years, I have built and led teams that drive incredible innovation to solve our customers’ biggest challenges. I engage with our customers and our teams across every Cisco customer segment, on every technology in our portfolio, and in all our geographies around the world.

“I absolutely love change, and when things are dynamic and moving fast, I am most energized. I believe in acting boldly to accelerate things that are working and change those that are not. I am at my best leading teams of inspired people to drive tremendous results and make the world a better place.”

Robbins graduated from UNC in 1987 and joined Cisco as an account manager in 1997, two years after Chambers became CEO. Robbins has risen steadily through the Cisco ranks ever since.

Chambers, who has held the CEO’s job since 1995 and made Cisco one of the world’s most innovative companies, will remain chairman.

Robbins was chosen for the job on May 1, but Cisco did not disclose the news until Monday. He’s a 17-year Cisco veteran, having held a number of different roles.

Here’s a look at his career based on his profile at LinkedIn:

Current: SVP, Worldwide Field Operations at Cisco

Los Gatos, California
Computer Networking


  • Cisco,
  • Ascend Communications,
  • Wellfleet Communications


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


SVP, Worldwide Field Operations, Cisco

December 2012 – Present (2 years 6 months)

• Leader of the team of 18,000 dedicated employees and thousands of partners around the world that drive $47B in business for the company.
• Driver of a multi-year transformation of the sales organization to the most powerful solutions sales force in the industry

Senior Vice President, Americas, Cisco

August 2011 – October 2012 (1 year 3 months)

Senior Vice President, US Enterprise, Commercial & Canada, Cisco

August 2009 – July 2011 (2 years)

Senior Vice President, US Commercial, Cisco

December 2007 – July 2009 (1 year 8 months)

Segment Vice President, US Channels Sales, Cisco

December 2005 – November 2007 (2 years)

Vice President, US Channels Sales

December 2002 – November 2005 (3 years)

Operations Director, US Channels Sales, Cisco

October 1999 – August 2002 (2 years 11 months)

Regional Manager, Cisco

November 1998 – October 1999 (1 year)

Account Manager, Cisco

December 1997 – November 1998 (1 year)

Before Cisco:

Sales, Ascend Communications

December 1996 – December 1997 (1 year 1 month)

Sales, Wellfleet Communications

July 1992 – December 1996 (4 years 6 months)

Application Developer, NCNB

August 1987 – July 1992 (5 years)Charlotte, North Carolina Area


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Bachelor of Science (BS), Mathematical Sciences, 1983 – 1987

Rocky Mount Senior High High School

1980 – 1983