Shelley Blackburn, Cisco’s vice president of global security and one of the world’s longest-serving sales managers, is stepping down after more than 22 years at the company, she told colleagues this week. The announcement preceded the shake-up of the security software sales department, which CEO Chuck Robbins described as a crucial part of the company’s efforts to diversify from its core network hardware business.
Blackburn oversees Cisco’s global organization of security sales professionals, which was established in 2015 as an independent division of the company to offer its customers a sales portfolio and provide technical support. In an internal call this week and an email sent to staff Tuesday morning, Blackburn said he was leaving for personal reasons, according to a current Cisco employee and an email seen by The Information. The company also announced a restructuring of its security product teams on Tuesday, including the hiring of Raj Chopra, a former vice president of product management at corporate security firm Proofpoint.