Microsoft Snags Cisco's Supply Chain Security Leader

On the heels of several recent executive departures, Cisco's chief security officer for its Global Value Chain, Edna Conway, has left the company to join Microsoft as vice president and general manager of global security for its cloud supply chain.


Edna Conway, a 20-year Cisco veteran, has left the company to join Microsoft as vice president and general manager of Global Security, Risk and Compliance, overseeing the tech giant's cloud supply chain.

Conway confirmed her departure via LinkedIn on Sunday in a post, saying that after the "honor of 20 years of leadership and learning" at Cisco, she is moving on to tackle a new challenge.

"In a digital world where trust and transparency are more critical than ever before, working with a remarkable enterprise and colleagues committed to the mission of trust is a gift for which I am truly grateful. The world is rapidly embracing a global platform economy. I am invigorated by the opportunity to develop and deploy a resilient Governance Architecture for the strong third party ecosystem of Microsoft’s Cloud Platform supply chain," Conway wrote in her LinkedIn post.

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In her role as Cisco's chief security officer for its Global Value Chain, Conway was responsible for developing and overseeing Cisco’s strategy to assess, monitor, and improve the security and resiliency of its global value chain. Cisco's Value Chain Security Program includes supply chain operations, engineering, and worldwide partner and services organizations, Cisco said. Conway was also instrumental in driving Cisco’s supply chain cyber and security protection plan through its suppliers and channel partners, according to the company.

“We thank [Conway] for her many contributions at Cisco and wish her the best in the next stage of her career. Managing third party risk is a priority across the industry. Together with our partners, Cisco is committed to continuously evolving our activities to improve this important area of cybersecurity risk. This topic is critical to Cisco and our customers,” Anthony Greico, Cisco's Trust Strategy Office, Security & Trust office, told CRN in an email.

Cisco did not say whether Conway's position has been filled prior to publication.

The executive departure follows several other high-profile departures from Cisco. Cisco in December revealed Frank Palumbo, its senior vice president of global data center sales, was leaving after 27 years. Palumbo has since joined former Cisco CEO John Chambers' edge computing startup, Pansando Systems. In November,

20-year Cisco veteran Nirav Sheth, who served as vice president of worldwide sales and systems engineering for the tech giant's Global Partner Organization and right-hand man to global channel chief Oliver Tuszik, left the company to join Google Cloud in a channel-facing role. Cisco also said that Guillermo Diaz Jr., the company's current senior vice president of customer transformation since February and former chief information officer since 2015, will be leaving the company in February 2020.

The latest departures come as Cisco moves around some of its executives and restructures several of its businesses, including its enterprise networking and cloud segments. Cisco in November revealed that its enterprise networking and data center networking units will be combined and it was renaming its existing cloud computing business to Cloud Strategy and Compute and expanding the segment to include server products. The new enterprise and data center networking unit is now being led by Cisco's Senior Vice President and General Manager of enterprise networking, Scott Harrell. Liz Centoni, a 19-year Cisco veteran and senior vice president and general manager of IoT is now heading up the new Cloud Strategy and Compute business unit for Cisco. Cisco's Dave Ward, formerly Cisco's chief technology officer of engineering and chief architect, said in November that he would be stepping down to take a new role inside the company and that Roland Acra, the company's former senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Data Center business unit, would be his replacement.

Conway served as Cisco's chief security officer of its global value chain for the past five years and prior to that role, chief security officer of Cisco's manufacturing supply chain for four years. She also held several other roles within the San Jose, Calif.-based company, including chief compliance and sustainability officer, senior director of global government solutions, and director of licensing and technology.