Cisco Live 2015: Meet the New Boss

August 18, 2015 at 8:29 am | Posted in Cisco | Comments Off on Cisco Live 2015: Meet the New Boss
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The big news at Cisco Live 2015 this year in San Diego is the change in leadership at the company’s top level. After transforming Cisco from a company with revenue of US $70M to over $40B, John Chambers (at right, below) is turning over leadership to Chuck Robbins (speaking at left). It will be kind of strange to NOT hear a keynote from John next year after all these years.

cisco-live-2015-us-robbins-chambers

One of the things I find interesting about this topic is some of the talk I heard over the week from attendees about John. I’m always fascinated by the metrics that people to use to judge leadership. One comment that really struck me was this one from one attendee: “I always love John’s keynote. Did you notice he walks the crowd when he speaks? That means he REALLY knows what he has to say.”

Regardless of what metrics you use, there’s no doubt that John has been a success. I think many are wondering what will change when he’s gone. From all indications, Chuck will do just fine; but there was a slight undercurrent of uncertainty until he spoke. After that,  everyone seemed to be more at ease.

The attendance of the event continues to grow while other tech conferences shrink. Take MS TechEd, which folded into MS Ignite–a sure sign of struggle with defining, or attracting, their audience. While the Cisco Live event had over 25,000 attendees (an increase of about 1,000 from last year), the exhibit hall looked much bigger than last year’s. I think one of the reasons it came back to San Diego after being in San Francisco last year is that there simply isn’t room there anymore.  I think this conference is destined for only the largest convention facilities in the future–maybe even Las Vegas next year.

Until next time,

Troy McMillan

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