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为什么思科董事会选了他作为新CEO?  

2015-05-08 07:41:05|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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为什么思科董事会选了他作为新CEO?

Robert Hackett 2015年05月07日

 

周一,思科宣布现任CEO钱伯斯将卸任。科技界对此早有预料,但许多人都好奇,他选定的接班人——查克?罗宾斯是何方神圣?他能带领这家老牌网络巨头重拾往日荣光吗?
为什么思科董事会选了他作为新CEO? - hongbinji - jiji的博客
为什么思科董事会选了他作为新CEO? - hongbinji - jiji的博客
为什么思科董事会选了他作为新CEO? - hongbinji - jiji的博客

    2000年4月,《财富》杂志封面曾以《他是全世界最好的CEO吗?》为题,对思科CEO约翰?钱伯斯进行过报道。当时这家网络巨头的市值迅猛增长,一度突破5500亿美元,甚至超过了微软。那会儿也是互联网泡沫的巅峰。

    如果把思科比做一只“热气球”,那一刻它已升至九霄云外。

    但钱伯斯很快发现,这只气球要向地面坠毁,他得在自由落体中小心驾驶。在触及历史高点后,思科的股价一直在15-30美元区间波动,再也没有回到80美元的峰值。

    周一,这家公司宣布钱伯斯将卸任,暂定于7月底出任执行董事长。科技界对此早有预料,但许多人都好奇,他选定的接班人——查克?罗宾斯是何方神圣?思科董事会为什么会选中他来掌舵?为什么没选其他人,比如之前人们认为在CEO争夺战中处于领先位置的销售和研发业务总裁罗伯特?劳埃德?此外,罗宾斯有能耐重振这家多年来奋力挣扎的公司,带领它重拾往日荣光吗?

    思科新CEO其人

    消息公布后,在闭门新闻发布会上准备回答各路问题时,钱伯斯的声音听起来轻快愉悦。“罗宾斯就是一台执行机器。”他称赞了继任者的工作效率,语调还是一贯的柔和缓慢。“他目光长远,胸怀大略,而且能落实到实际结果中。”随后,他撇下电话中的记者,直接对罗宾斯说:“我最欣赏你的一点是你学的很快,你知道自己懂什么,也知道自己不了解什么。”说完这句,钱伯斯把麦克风递给了罗宾斯,象征性地完成了一次“火炬传递”。

    罗宾斯是互联网行业资深人士,有17年的工作经验。他此前担任思科高级副总裁,负责全球运营。1997年,罗宾斯以会计经理身份加入思科。他经历了思科业务的急剧滑坡,在此过程中不断承担更重要的职务和责任。

    罗宾斯说:“今天发布的消息让我受宠若惊,也倍感荣幸。”接着,他回顾了思科的光辉过去,并大致介绍了今后的前进方向。他说:“回想20世纪90年代末,思科曾多么强大。”不过,他接下来表示:“我们将要迎接的下一波浪潮将是物联网带来的数字化。”物联网的英文缩写为IoT,意思是将以前不联网的家电与设备连入互联网。“这一波的规模将是以往任何一次的两到三倍。”

    从罗宾斯的描述中,与会者隐约窥见了思科的未来。随后他谈到“连接与融合”,比如说,应用程序和科技基础设施的结合让网络系统更灵活,更便于管理(如果思科不能迅速适应,这种趋势就有可能威胁其核心业务)。罗宾斯还提到,将利用思科的联网传感器和设备积累的信息,创建具有分析功能的智能应用层,在信息搜集和处理方面都具有“优势”。

  罗宾斯为何能胜出

    思科花了16个月时间来挑选CEO。尽管钱伯斯说过程以及候选人均为机密,不能透露详细情况,但他还是解释了罗宾斯为何成为最终人选。钱伯斯说,罗宾斯脱颖而出主要因为过去10个月表现优异。“查克做得最好的就是,让我们看到了CEO应有的质素。”钱伯斯再次提到,“眼光”、“韬略”和“执行”是成功的关键标志。钱伯斯自谦地说:“我更侧重直接命令和控制,告诉别人要怎样做。”他认为罗宾斯能很好地协调各种复杂解决方案,“他能把工作进程变为决策的一部分”。

    钱伯斯还说:“罗宾斯将带来思科需要的改变。”

    那么,哪些方面可能发生改变?思科已经给出了一些提示。尽管在发展过程中思科收购过许多公司,但没有一家能取代其核心业务,即网络设备和交换机。有人认为,新CEO将着手调整思科的工作重心。一位分析师在接受路透社采访时表示:“如果之前的CEO喜欢收购,继任者一般会收敛些,重新调整发展重心。我认为思科更换CEO后就是这种变化。”

    不容忽视的是,钱伯斯反复强调“执行”是罗宾斯的主要特点。这个词不仅意味着完成工作的能力,对某些人来说,还意味着裁员。思科最新公布的业绩超过了预期,但同时宣布裁员数千人。这位新CEO很可能会按计划瞄准某些业务领域,卸下无谓的负担。这与分析师的预期也符合。

    罗宾斯并未透露目前的工作重点,但从他以往的表现可见端倪。据思科的简历介绍,他是“促成思科收购Sourcefire和Meraki”的关键人物。这两项业务分属安全和协作范畴,或许表明思科有意在相关领域发力。

    送别钱伯斯

    虽然钱伯斯对思科长达几十年的掌控已进入尾声,但他并未显得感伤,至少从他的语气中听不出来。65岁的钱伯斯仍然强调重视科技创新蕴含的机会。他重复了发布会一开始说的话:“当下的数字革命有可能让思科再现上世纪90年代的辉煌。”然后,钱伯斯转向自己的继任者说道:“查克,你会成为一个伟大的领导者,我很高兴能当你的领路人。”

    随后,他又像一位长者那样敦促道:“把思科变为最好的IT公司吧。”

    罗宾斯温和地回答说:“约翰,我也想对你表示感谢。你让思科成为历史上最成功、最令人羡慕的企业之一。说实话,我的目标就是让思科的下一个10年比过去20年更强。”(财富中文网)

    译者:Charlie

    审校:夏林

    Why Robbins won out

    Cisco’s CEO selection process took 16 months. Though Chambers would not reveal details, citing the process and candidates as confidential, he did let on as to why Robbins was named the victor. In the last 10 months in particular, he says, Robbins pulled away from the pack. “What Chuck did so well was demonstrate the character you want out of your CEO.” Chambers again held up “vision,” “strategy,” and execution,” as key markers of success. “I tend to be more command and control, telling people to make it so” Chambers says with a touch of self-deprecation. Robbins, on the other hand, “makes the process part of his decision,” he says, mentioning his successor’s ability to coordinate complex solutions.

    Chambers adds: “He’ll make the changes that need to be made.”

    What might those changes be? There are hints. Despite acquiring many businesses over the course of its history, Cisco has never quite found one to replace its core moneymaker: networking and switching. Some believe the new CEO will set out to adjust the company’s prioritize. “In many cases where the CEO has been very acquisitive, the next guy pares down and refocuses the company,” an analyst tells Reuters, “and that is what I would be expecting with this change.”

    Indeed, one cannot ignore how Chambers touts “execution” as Robbin’s premier trait. It’s a term that connotes not only an ability to produce, but also, to some ears, an axe. In its last earnings call, the company beat expectations, but announced that it would be slashing thousands of jobs. Perhaps one can expect the new CEO similarly to hone in on certain areas and cut the deadweight. That would would fit the analyst’s thesis.

    Robbins says he’s not sure what he’ll prioritize just yet. But his track record provides some clues. He was integral, according to his company biography, as “a key sponsor for the Sourcefire and Meraki acquisitions.” Those business, in the security and collaboration spaces, respectively, may signal enticing areas of growth for the equipment maker.

    Sendoff

    As his decades-long reign enters its twilight days, Chambers is not a trace of wistful, at least as far as his tone of voice is concerned. At age 65, he is just as emphatic as ever about the opportunities presented by technological innovation. “We’re about to have a chance to have a repeat of the ’90s with the digital revolution that is occurring,” he says, harkening back to the comment made at the beginning of the call. He then turns his attention to his heir. “Chuck, you’re going be a great leader here,” he says. “I couldn’t be more excited to be your coach.”

    With that, he adds an avuncular exhortation: “Take us to the number one IT company.”

    Robbins replies in kind. “John, I also want to thank you,” he says. “You built this into one of the most successful and admired companies in history at one point.”

    He adds: “My goal, candidly, is to make the next decade better than the last two.”

    In April 2000, Fortune magazine featured Cisco CEO John Chambers on our cover and asked, “Is he the best CEO in the world?” The networking giant’s market capitalization had exploded at the turn of the millennium, soaring to more than $550 billion—topping even Microsoft’s. It was the apogee of the dot-com bubble.

    If Cisco CSCO -0.96% had been a hot air balloon, this was the moment it had ascended into the stratosphere.

    But Chambers soon found himself forced to pilot the free-falling airship as it crashed back down to Earth. Since it reached those lofty heights, the company’s share price has consistently wavered between about $15 and $30, never again regaining the $80 peak it reached.

    On Monday, the company announced that Chambers will be captain no longer, assuming the title of executive chairman at the end of July. The move, long anticipated by those in the technology industry, leaves many to wonder about his elected successor: Who exactly is Chuck Robbins? Why did the company’s board of directors select him to take the helm—rather than, say, president of sales and development Robert Lloyd, who some considered a frontrunner in the contest? And does Robbins have it in him to revive a company that has struggled for years to reclaim its pre-bust glory?

    Meet Cisco’s new CEO

    As he prepares for a round of questioning after the announcement of the news, Chambers sounds buoyant and breezy on a private Monday afternoon call with reporters. “Chuck is just an execution machine,” he says in his easy drawl, praising Robbins’ productivity. “He take vision and strategy and turns them into results.” Forgetting his audience for a moment, Chambers addresses Robbins directly before passing him the proverbial mic—and torch. “What I like most of all is you’re a fast learner,” he says. “You know what you know, and you know what you don’t know.”

    Robbins, a 17-year veteran of the networking business, most recently served as Cisco’s senior vice president of worldwide field operations. Joining the company as an account manager in 1997, he survived the business’s downward hurtle and assumed increasingly important roles and responsibilities within the organization.

    “I’m obviously very humbled and very honored with the announcement made today,” Robbins says, going on to invoke Cisco’s halcyon days and painting, in broad strokes, where he intends to steer the company. “Think about what we did in the late ’90s,” he says. “The next wave we’re facing is digitization through IoT,” he says, abbreviating “the Internet of Things,” the technology trend of connecting historically non-networked appliances and devices to the Internet. “It’s going to be two-to-three times bigger than anything in the past.”

    Glimpses of Robbins’ vision are perceptible on the call. He proceeds to talk about “connectivity and convergence,” for example, the merging of applications and technologic infrastructure, allowing for a more flexible and easily manageable system of networking. (One that threatens to gobble Cisco’s core business if it cannot adapt quickly enough.) He mentions how he would like to leverage the information garnered from all the company’s network-connected sensors and devices, and to create application layers offering analytics and intelligence, that are sourced and processed “at edge.”

  罗宾斯为何能胜出

    思科花了16个月时间来挑选CEO。尽管钱伯斯说过程以及候选人均为机密,不能透露详细情况,但他还是解释了罗宾斯为何成为最终人选。钱伯斯说,罗宾斯脱颖而出主要因为过去10个月表现优异。“查克做得最好的就是,让我们看到了CEO应有的质素。”钱伯斯再次提到,“眼光”、“韬略”和“执行”是成功的关键标志。钱伯斯自谦地说:“我更侧重直接命令和控制,告诉别人要怎样做。”他认为罗宾斯能很好地协调各种复杂解决方案,“他能把工作进程变为决策的一部分”。

    钱伯斯还说:“罗宾斯将带来思科需要的改变。”

    那么,哪些方面可能发生改变?思科已经给出了一些提示。尽管在发展过程中思科收购过许多公司,但没有一家能取代其核心业务,即网络设备和交换机。有人认为,新CEO将着手调整思科的工作重心。一位分析师在接受路透社采访时表示:“如果之前的CEO喜欢收购,继任者一般会收敛些,重新调整发展重心。我认为思科更换CEO后就是这种变化。”

    不容忽视的是,钱伯斯反复强调“执行”是罗宾斯的主要特点。这个词不仅意味着完成工作的能力,对某些人来说,还意味着裁员。思科最新公布的业绩超过了预期,但同时宣布裁员数千人。这位新CEO很可能会按计划瞄准某些业务领域,卸下无谓的负担。这与分析师的预期也符合。

    罗宾斯并未透露目前的工作重点,但从他以往的表现可见端倪。据思科的简历介绍,他是“促成思科收购Sourcefire和Meraki”的关键人物。这两项业务分属安全和协作范畴,或许表明思科有意在相关领域发力。

    送别钱伯斯

    虽然钱伯斯对思科长达几十年的掌控已进入尾声,但他并未显得感伤,至少从他的语气中听不出来。65岁的钱伯斯仍然强调重视科技创新蕴含的机会。他重复了发布会一开始说的话:“当下的数字革命有可能让思科再现上世纪90年代的辉煌。”然后,钱伯斯转向自己的继任者说道:“查克,你会成为一个伟大的领导者,我很高兴能当你的领路人。”

    随后,他又像一位长者那样敦促道:“把思科变为最好的IT公司吧。”

    罗宾斯温和地回答说:“约翰,我也想对你表示感谢。你让思科成为历史上最成功、最令人羡慕的企业之一。说实话,我的目标就是让思科的下一个10年比过去20年更强。”(财富中文网)

    译者:Charlie

    审校:夏林

    Why Robbins won out

    Cisco’s CEO selection process took 16 months. Though Chambers would not reveal details, citing the process and candidates as confidential, he did let on as to why Robbins was named the victor. In the last 10 months in particular, he says, Robbins pulled away from the pack. “What Chuck did so well was demonstrate the character you want out of your CEO.” Chambers again held up “vision,” “strategy,” and execution,” as key markers of success. “I tend to be more command and control, telling people to make it so” Chambers says with a touch of self-deprecation. Robbins, on the other hand, “makes the process part of his decision,” he says, mentioning his successor’s ability to coordinate complex solutions.

    Chambers adds: “He’ll make the changes that need to be made.”

    What might those changes be? There are hints. Despite acquiring many businesses over the course of its history, Cisco has never quite found one to replace its core moneymaker: networking and switching. Some believe the new CEO will set out to adjust the company’s prioritize. “In many cases where the CEO has been very acquisitive, the next guy pares down and refocuses the company,” an analyst tells Reuters, “and that is what I would be expecting with this change.”

    Indeed, one cannot ignore how Chambers touts “execution” as Robbin’s premier trait. It’s a term that connotes not only an ability to produce, but also, to some ears, an axe. In its last earnings call, the company beat expectations, but announced that it would be slashing thousands of jobs. Perhaps one can expect the new CEO similarly to hone in on certain areas and cut the deadweight. That would would fit the analyst’s thesis.

    Robbins says he’s not sure what he’ll prioritize just yet. But his track record provides some clues. He was integral, according to his company biography, as “a key sponsor for the Sourcefire and Meraki acquisitions.” Those business, in the security and collaboration spaces, respectively, may signal enticing areas of growth for the equipment maker.

    Sendoff

    As his decades-long reign enters its twilight days, Chambers is not a trace of wistful, at least as far as his tone of voice is concerned. At age 65, he is just as emphatic as ever about the opportunities presented by technological innovation. “We’re about to have a chance to have a repeat of the ’90s with the digital revolution that is occurring,” he says, harkening back to the comment made at the beginning of the call. He then turns his attention to his heir. “Chuck, you’re going be a great leader here,” he says. “I couldn’t be more excited to be your coach.”

    With that, he adds an avuncular exhortation: “Take us to the number one IT company.”

    Robbins replies in kind. “John, I also want to thank you,” he says. “You built this into one of the most successful and admired companies in history at one point.”

    He adds: “My goal, candidly, is to make the next decade better than the last two.”


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