Cisco chairman John Chambers will stand down from his position at the company that he led for 20 years when his term ends in December, the networking giant has announced.
He will take the honourary title of 'chairman emeritus', and be succeeded by current CEO Chuck Robbins. Chambers has said that he will mostly work as a strategic advisor to Robbins after he stands down.
"John's brilliant mind, compassion and charismatic leadership have helped shape Cisco for over 20 years, and for that we are all grateful," said Robbins in a statement.
"John's influence on the industry is immense and he built Cisco around a culture of integrity and innovation that will continue to serve our employees, partners and customers for decades to come. I have no doubt he will continue to have a lasting impact with his future endeavours."
Chambers joined Cisco from Wang Labs, a company he had joined from IBM in 1983.
Wang Labs had grown fast in the 1970s and 1980s with a centralised word processing system, but whose sales crashed in 1990 as the networked PC took over as corporates word processing tool of choice.
Chambers joined Cisco in 1991, a year after Wang Labs registered a whacking $700m loss just one year after it had posted a $2bn profit.
Chambers joined Cisco as head of sales, but was appointed CEO in 1995, serving from 1995 to 2015. During this time he built the company from a major router manufacturer, with sales of $1.2bn, to the world's largest networking equipment firm with a turnover of almost $50bn.
He also led the company through 180 acquisitions.
Cisco is currently cutting more than 6,500 jobs, however, as part of a restructuring effort. It has forecast a decline of between four and six per cent for its fourth quarter results, following a one per cent fall in the third quarter.
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