Former Cisco CEO John Chambers will leave the networking juggernaut at the end of the year, drawing a 26-year Cisco career to a close.
Chambers joined Cisco in 1991 as head of sales, before starting a 20-year stint as CEO in January 1995. He stepped aside in July 2015, making way for current CEO Chuck Robbins and becoming executive chairman.
In a letter to the Cisco board, dated 13 September, Chambers said that he will not stand for re-election in December, adding that it is time to "move on to the next chapter in my life".
"It has been a tremendous honour to serve in multiple leadership roles at Cisco," he said, "[and] to build one of the most successful and admired companies in the world. One that in many ways changed the way the world truly works, lives, plays, and learns.
"It is time for Cisco to move on to its next generation of leadership including at the board and chairman level and to position this seamlessly for the future."
Cisco said in a statement that it plans to hand the role of executive chairman over to CEO Robbins, with Chambers taking on the honourary title of chairman emeritus.
Robbins said: "John's brilliant mind, compassion and charismatic leadership have helped shape Cisco for over 20 years, and for that we are all grateful.
"John's influence on the industry is immense and he built Cisco around a culture of integrity and innovation that will continue to serve our employees, partners and customers for decades to come. I have no doubt he will continue to have a lasting impact with his future endeavours."
Although Cisco's share price has actually risen slightly under Robbins' tenure, the task of stepping into Chambers CEO shoes was compared by partners at the time to succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
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