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Cisco Collaboration Leader Rowan Trollope Departs To Become CEO Of Five9

Replacing Trollope as leader of Cisco's collaboration division will be Amy Chang, a Cisco board member whose startup, Accompany, Cisco said Tuesday it had reached a deal to acquire for $270 million.

Cisco Systems executive Rowan Trollope , senior vice president and general manager of applications and, until recently the head of its Internet of Things business, has left the company to take the helm of Five9.

He will start Thursday as CEO of the San Ramon, Calif.-based company, which offers cloud software for contact centers.

Replacing Trollope as leader of Cisco's collaboration division will be Amy Chang, a Cisco board member whose startup, Accompany, Cisco said Tuesday it had reached a deal to acquire for $270 million. Cisco noted Trollope's departure in the statement about the Accompany acquisition.

Trollope was one of Cisco's most-esteemed executives and is credited with guiding a major overhaul of its collaboration portfolio to a cloud model, which brought the division from losses to double-digit growth. He led the development of Cisco Spark, which was the cornerstone of Cisco's future vision for its cloud-based collaboration business.

He also led Cisco's IoT business until the end of March, when Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Computing Systems Product Group took over those duties, Cisco said.

Just last week, Cisco revealed it was terminating stand-alone versions of its Spark collaboration products and folding them into its Webex platform as a feature called Webex Teams to reduce the complexity of having the two systems living side-by-side. Cisco also launched the Webex Meetings application, as well as a new Webex Assistant and a Webex Share device.

Trollope came to Cisco from Symantec in 2012 to run the collaboration unit, which develops products like Webex videoconferencing, Unified Communications Manager, and contact center solutions that directly compete with Five9.

In 2015 Trollope assumed responsibility for the networking leader's global IoT business and its larger applications division, which includes the collaboration unit.

When it closes the deal for Accompany, based in Los Altos, Calif., Cisco will add an intelligent business prospecting solution to that collaboration portfolio that will be infused into some of those other products.

The startup, founded in 2013, uses artificial intelligence to probe a database of business leaders, including profiles of every Fortune 500 CEO, and deliver relationship insight.

Cisco, in a statement, said the startup's technology will "accelerate priority areas across its collaboration portfolio" including dropping user and company information into Webex meetings.

Chang, Accompany's founder and CEO, will take the helm of those projects as senior vice president for Cisco's Collaboration Technology Group. Her team from Accompany will come on board with her.

Chang is already highly familiar with Cisco's business as a board member of the networking giant since 2016. She has resigned that seat to take the job as a day-to-day manager.

Chang also sits on the board of Procter & Gamble, and has previously been a director for Splunk and Informatica.

Between 2005 and 2012, she was a product leader at Google in charge of the analytics platform that measures the effectiveness of its advertising services.

’Together, we have a tremendous opportunity to further enhance AI and machine learning capabilities in our collaboration portfolio and continue to create amazing collaboration experiences for customers," said Chuck Robbins, Cisco's CEO, in a prepared statement.

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