The New Leaders Who Joined Cisco Systems This Spring

Engineering executives, security specialists and marketing professionals were among some of the new leaders that joined the networking giant this spring.

Networking Newcomers

Networking giant Cisco Systems is always actively recruiting and gaining new members of its global team as employees turnover, acquisitions are closed, and business units evolve and expand.

If Cisco’s record backlog is any indication, the company’s products and software are in high demand as customers digitize their IT environments and seek out cloud-based offerings that will give them greater flexibility and agility.

Security continues to be top of mind for businesses, as is application management as more employees adopt a hybrid working approach.

This momentum requires strong technology teams working on the latest and greatest products and services, as well as marketing and customer success units that can get the company’s software and everything as a service transformation message across to Cisco partners and end customers.

Reports emerged in May that longtime Cisco Security sales specialist Shelly Blackburn would be stepping down. In light of the news, Cisco confirmed that it would be reorganizing its Security group and bringing on former Proofpoint leader Raj Chopra.

The Cisco-owned AppDynamics business also has a new leader in the form of Sue McKinney, a tech executive that joined the company in March.

At the same time, Cisco filled engineering, enterprise, and product marketing roles this spring.

From new engineering executives, security specialists and marketing and customer success professionals, here are some of the new business segment leaders that joined Cisco in spring 2022.

Raj Chopra

Former Proofpoint Vice President Chopra is slated to join Cisco as the new senior vice president of product management for newly consolidated Cisco Security group which was previously broken up into specific units and led by individual general managers. The tech giant has not yet confirmed his start date.

Chopra is stepping in as Shelly Blackburn, vice president of the Cisco global security sales specialist organization, revealed her plans in May to step down after 22 years with Cisco, reportedly citing “personal reasons.”

Sue McKinney

McKinney the new vice president of engineering for AppDynamics, Cisco’s application performance monitoring software arm. She joined the company at the end of March.

McKinney has experience aligning products to trending market needs. Her previous roles include senior vice president of cloud platform engineering and development transformation for business planning software company Anaplan. Prior to that, she served as vice president of engineering, emerging products for Cloudera and earlier, led engineering for Veritas Technologies and Symantec.

Richard Craighead

Craighead is the new head of platform engineering for Cisco Security who joined the company in March as vice president.

The tech veteran came to Cisco from business VoIP communications provider Cytracom where he served as vice president of engineering. Prior to that, Craighead was at McAfee for more than 12 years leading the engineering team and serving as senior director of vulnerability research, with a stint at Intel as the company’s head of client technologies for ISecG Labs in between his McAfee tenure.

Kelly McMahon Hall

McMahon is new to Cisco’s Global Enterprise team, having joined the company in March as vice president of customer experience, Global Enterprise, South region.

A former C-level tech executive with plenty of leader experience, McMahon sspecializes in the engagement strategy between brands and customers. Prior to joining Cisco this Spring, she served as senior vice president of customer experience for Malwarebytes since 2020. Before that, she was chief customer officer for Vision Critical, a provider of cloud-based customer intelligence solutions. She’s also worked for BMC Software and CA Technologies in customer success roles.

Geoffrey Huang

Having started his career in tech as an intern at Cisco, Huang has come full-circle and has rejoined the company as Cisco’s new vice president of product and solutions marketing for Cisco as of May.

The tech executive spent the last four years as senior vice president of product for security firm Sift. Before that, he served as vice president of product marketing for business UCaaS provider RingCentral. He’s also led product marketing for the likes of VMware and F5.

Vijay Viswanathan

In his new gig with Cisco, Viswanathan is leading Business Insights for Cisco’s ONEx (COO) organization reporting into ONEx Strategy and Planning. Since joining the company, he’s been providing performance reporting, business analysis and insights across Cisco’s software and subscription services portfolio and leading a global team to analyze business performance and synthesize insights across software and services subscription and recurring revenue lifecycle.

Viswanathan is no stranger to analytics. The executive spent the last eight years at PlayStation leading the company’s data strategy. Prior to that, he served as a strategy engagement manager of technology, media and telecommunications for Deloitte Consulting. He also spent five years at Motorola in solution sales and systems architecture.