In 2015, John Chambers, the outspoken CEO of Cisco Systems, made way, after having played a significant part in the rise of the telecoms giant in the late 1990s. His successor, Chuck Robbins, took over the California company and was tasked with striking growth gold in the cybersecurity and software sectors.
Year took up current function: 2015
Turnover in 2018: $49.3bn
Growth in 2018: 1.2%
Between 2017 and 2019, Cisco Systems spent almost $8 billion on application performance management outfit AppDynamics (the people behind BroadSoft), network security specialists Duo Security and, more recently, fibre-optic cable supplier Acacia. If turnover has stagnated in recent years, with these purchases Robbins has manoeuvred the company into an ideal position to become a major player this market for years to come.