Sharritts To Leave As Cisco Exec Shuffle Puts Former Splunk CEO In President Role

Cisco is “taking the next step” in making its 40-year-old GTM engine “one of most sophisticated and extensive,” Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said in a blog post.

Cisco has moved Gary Steele from the role of executive vice president and general manager of newly acquired cybersecurity subsidiary Splunk to a new role as president of go-to-market while EVP and Chief Customer and Partner Officer Jeff Sharritts will leave the networking giant after more than 20 years as an employee.

San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco revealed the executive changes in a blog post Wednesday authored by CEO and Chairman Chuck Robbins, wherein Robbins said that Cisco is “taking the next step” in making its 40-year-old GTM engine “one of the most sophisticated and extensive.”

Steele and his organization – which includes Sales, Partner, and Global Marketing teams – “will evolve our sales and go-to-market motions to execute against strategy, align with customer needs, and drive a culture of intense competition, agility, and continuous improvement,” Robbins said in the post.

[RELATED: Cisco Closes $28B Splunk Deal: 5 Big AI, Security And Partner Things To Know]

Cisco Moves Steele

CRN has reached out to Sharritts for comment.

About 90 percent of Cisco’s overall sales come through indirect channel and alliance relationships, according to CRN’s 2024 Channel Chiefs.

The Splunk team will continue to report to Steele, according to the post. Steele officially joined Cisco with the vendor’s close of the $28 billion purchase of Splunk in March. He served as Splunk’s president and CEO for about two years, according to his LinkedIn account. He came to Splunk after more than 19 years as CEO of Proofpoint, according to his LinkedIn account.

“His operational mindset, combined with his intense focus on simplicity and proven ability to drive growth, position him well as the new leader of this organization,” Robbins said. “Representing the voice of the customer, he will build new processes, listening systems, and feedback loops to drive effective prioritization, decision-making, and alignment between our GTM and engineering teams.”

Meanwhile, Sharritts’ departure is set for the end of the Cisco fiscal year in mid-July, according to the blog post.

“Known for his authenticity and integrity, he is well respected at Cisco, and we are grateful for his leadership and unwavering dedication to Cisco, and our customers,” Robbins said in the post. “I look forward to partnering deeply with Gary to make that happen and I’m grateful for Jeff’s many years of partnership and friendship.”

Sharritts joined Cisco in 2000 as manager of channel operations, according to his LinkedIn account. He ascended to the role of senior vice president of Americas sales in 2018 and became executive vice president and chief customer and partner officer in 2022 with the retirement of Gerri Elliott.