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Cisco’s UK head Phil Smith goes part-time as new company chair

The esteemed chief exec of Cisco in the UK and Ireland Phil Smith is leaving his role and will now be working part-time as chair of the operation he helped found in the early 90s.

Smith continues as chairman of Innovate UK, what was the UK government’s Technology Strategy Board, which has been supporting business-led innovation since 2007.

In 2013, Cisco UK and Ireland was listed as one of The Times’ top 50 places for women to work, and Smith is a great advocate of disability rights in the workplace and digital skills.

He said: “There has never been a more crucial time for us to realise the potential of UK industry.

“In 2015, we announced our commitment to invest $1 billion in the UK and a year on, I am thrilled with the progress that we have seen so far.

“Needless to say, there is still work to be done. We are at the forefront of the digital transformation, and I am delighted that Scot Gardner will be taking on the leadership of the UK and Ireland for Cisco.”

Early last month, we spoke to Phil Smith about the many challenges still facing UK companies in the big digital transition.

Cisco struggled in recent times under now-retired CEO John Chambers and there’s an ongoing internal power struggle against the new CEO, Chuck Robbins.

We’ve contacted Cisco to find out exactly what Smith’s new part-time, presumably more flexible, leadership role will look like.