New Cisco CEO Favors Diversity & Youth

divNew Cisco CEO, Chuck Robbins, unveiled his new executive team in a blog post today, and he?s favoring diversity and youth as he tries to sell Cisco to a new generation of customers.

He?s got a challenge.

But as he moves in and former CEO John Chambers and members of his team move on, Robbins is already putting his own unique stamp on the organization, hiring five men and five women to lead his executive a team, a move that already makes Cisco unique in Silicon Valley.

Robbins seems to recognize that to push his company forward in the face of an increasingly competitive market landscape, he needs new ideas.

?With the increasing pace and complexity of today?s market, it?s critical that our leadership team understands our customers, delivers results, brings diverse perspectives and experiences, and builds world-class, highly motivated teams,? Robbins wrote in his blog post.

?I think he?s done a great job mixing it up not just on gender diversity, but also on ethnic, cultural and expertise,? Ray Wang founder of Constellation Research told TechCrunch.

The company is also shrinking its executive team from 13 to 10 as Robbins looks to build a smaller team than his predecessor with a flatter organizational structure, according to The Wall Street Journal. The previous team also had five women.

The youngest of the new faces is Ruba Borno, 34, who has been hired as vp of growth initiatives and chief of staff. She comes to the company from Boston Consulting Group and has a ?Ph.D. and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering.

Cisco reports that Hilton Romanski, 42, will be taking on the role of chief technology and strategy officer, the role previously held Padmasree Warrior. Re/code first reported she was leaving the company earlier this week. She has actually agreed to stay as a strategic advisor through September.