RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, a UNC-Chapel Hill graduate, is delivering a new message of purpose for the technology giant.
In a blog post and in remarks delivered via an international Cisco event earlier this week, Robbins laid out the new agenda as he reacted to the recent deaths of black Americans at the hands of police, including North Carolina native George Floyd.
“We know our responsibilities don’t end with technology. It’s now about making the world we envision possible. Over the past six months, we came to the conclusion that our new purpose is to Power an Inclusive Future for All,” Robbins wrote.
He then spelled out action steps.
“We can achieve this purpose through our technology, our actions and our intentions. As we grappled with COVID-19, we developed a new framework for how we will guide our decisions in how we respond to what we see as a crisis, an injustice or a global challenge.”
He described “four primary pillars of response,” those being:
- The Most Vulnerable, led by Tae Yoo, SVP, Corporate Affairs, will focus on the non-profits and partners that support underserved communities and those disproportionately impacted by systemic issues and crises.
- Families and Community, led by Fran Katsoudas, EVP and Chief People Officer, will focus on expanding care and well-being services beyond our employees.
- Research and Resilience, led by Liz Centoni, SVP Emerging Technologies & Incubation, will focus on technology solutions that can advance healthcare research and address social inequities.
- Strategic Recovery, led by Maria Martinez, EVP and Chief Customer Experience Officer, will focus on helping healthcare and education institutions adapt their operations so they can continue to provide care to impacted communities and critical pathways to job opportunities during times of uncertainty.
At the Cisco Live event, he spoke out again:
Recent events have exposed society’s “own reckoning with deep-rooted, systemic racism and bigotry has brought to light centuries of inequality, injustice, and fragility underpinning our society for far too long,” he said, according to Network World.
“It is clear to me that our notions of corporate social responsibility, advocacy or even the most recent notion of stakeholder capitalism simply aren’t doing enough to care for our world.”
Robbins joins numerous other tech executives in speaking out about striving for more equality, including CEOs at Red Hat, IBM, Apple and AT&T.
Cisco operates one of its largest corporate campuses in RTP.