Today, Cisco announced that Ned Hooper would become its chief strategy officer, "developing Cisco's business strategy and identifying market transitions," according to the press release. That raises the question of where Cisco may be going.
My colleague Michael Hickins last month said that he saw the company as having an insufficiently "deep bench" in the management ranks after a number of high-level exits. This would certainly cement Hooper's position. Barron's Tech Trader even speculates that this could effectively name an heir apparent for CEO John Chambers.
Hooper has been heavily involved in a number of Cisco acquisitions, including:
- Scientific Atlanta
- Pure Digital
And speaking of that title, another consideration is that the new position is in addition to his other duties. Could it be that the extent of responsibilities could become too distracting? Only an endless round of back-to-back meetings will tell for sure.