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BlackRock Nominates Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins To Board Of Directors

'Chuck brings a deep understanding of technology's promise to our board at a crucial time for BlackRock,' says Lawrence Fink, CEO of the $5.1 trillion asset management company.

Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins has been nominated to serve on the board of BlackRock, a $5.1 trillion asset management company.

"Obviously, [BlackRock] wants to have a big-time technology leader who knows the market, the technology in it and isn’t afraid to pull the [acquisition] trigger," said one top executive from a Cisco Gold partner, who declined to be identified. "They see Robbins as the CEO of a company who is trying to make this technology transition and known to make acquisition after acquisition – spending billions and billions – to stay ahead of the curve. So yeah, it's probably a smart move for them."

Robbins, who was unanimously selected in 2015 to replace former longtime CEO John Chambers, will join the board as an independent director if elected by shareholders. BlackRock shareholders are set to make their decision at their annual meeting May 25.

[Related: Cisco Channel Chief Bahr On Faulty Component Issue, Software Vision And 'Extraordinary' Security Growth]

"Throughout his career, Chuck has helped global corporations navigate a world being reshaped by technological advancement," said Laurence Fink, BlackRock chairman and CEO, in a statement. "Technology is rapidly transforming how we invest, measure risk, distribute our products, and run our operations. Embracing and driving that transformation has been a key differentiator for BlackRock since our founding and remains core to our future success.

"Chuck brings a deep understanding of technology's promise to our board at a crucial time for BlackRock," said Fink.

Robbins currently does not serve on any other corporate boards. If elected, he will be the first IT CEO on BlackRock's board of directors.

The New York-based financial planning and investment management company is touted as one of the world's largest asset management firms, with 153 investment teams in 30 countries, according to a release.

Since 2012, BlackRock has added five independent directors to its board aimed at helping shape the company's long-term growth strategy, according to the company. Robbins would be the sixth independent director.

"We have consciously developed our board with an eye towards the future," said Fink.

Robbins held various executive channel sales roles over his two decades at the San Jose, Calif.-based networking giant, including senior vice president of worldwide field operations and senior vice president of Cisco's Americas business.


The Cisco partner executive said BlackRock and Cisco are similar in that both are seeking to successfully transition into a technology world where cloud and software are king.

"I think Cisco and BlackRock are sort of in the same boat right now – they're trying to stay ahead of the everything that changing," said the executive. "For technology transition, knowing the big players and where things are going, Robbins makes sense for them ... Maybe Cisco will gain some additional exposure or something like that from him being on the board too."

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