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Brian Schipper senior vice president of human resources bolts Cisco
Tue, 5/31/11 - 3:41am    View comments

Update: 6-9-2011

Brian Schipper appointed Head of Global HR for Groupon, Inc.

Brian SchipperEvolution in HR Leadership

It is with gratitude for a job well done that we announce that Brian Schipper, SVP, Human Resources, has decided to pursue a new career opportunity outside of Cisco. Skip's command of the Human Resources discipline, combined with his focus on our employees and ability to recruit and develop a great team, has yielded significant results for Cisco HR and the broader Cisco organization.

During his four and a half years at Cisco, Skip successfully built HR into a cost-effective, metrics-driven function that operates with a drive for execution excellence. Skip delivered on a clear vision and strategy for the HR team, and devised the structure and operating model that strategically support Cisco's ever-growing globalization model. This includes the evolution of the Learning and Development Solutions Group (LDSG) and Staffing organizations, both of which have increased operational excellence and value for Cisco.

The search for a new HR leader is under way, and we will provide an update once a replacement is named. In the interim, we have asked Jim Gemmell, VP, HR, and Jerry Dark, VP, HR, to co-lead the HR function, engaging with and reporting directly to Randy.

Jim and Jerry have vast experience across the HR function and a deep knowledge of our business organizations. We have confidence in their ability to seamlessly transition and lead the HR team as we work through Cisco's current evolution. They will also continue to move forward with the programs that have helped make Cisco one of the best places to work in the world.

HR's role in building and fostering a strong employee culture is something that the Cisco leadership team is deeply committed to, especially during this time of change. We'd like to thank Skip for his contributions and wish him well.

Randy and Gary

Randy Pond, EVP, Operations, Systems and Processes (OPS), Gary Moore, EVP and COO

Personally, I find it interesting that only a month ago on April 26, 2011 it was Brian Schipper who announced Cisco's 2011 voluntary enhanced early retirement program (EER), now just a month later, Schipper has unexpectedly bolted from Cisco.

That's a very big "red flag" in my opinion!

Also curiously last week, a California attorney investigating a case against Cisco contacted me about severance issues given the number of Cisco employees subject to layoff and how many of those Cisco employees will lose their rights from a lack of awareness.

Furthermore, I'm hearing rumors that there's a rebellion growing deep within Cisco's very successful "old culture" against CEO John Chambers and his e-staff of "syllabus people" who appear to be killing Cisco.

So exactly what are Cisco CEO John Chambers' syllabus people?

Well according to Cisco's very successful "old culture," Chambers' syllabus people are those individuals who went to college and focused on what was expected of them based on the syllabus that they were handed. They learned that they could maintain a high grade point average if they studied what was on that sheet of paper - and nothing more. They also didn't question anything. It's these type of individuals that CEO John Chambers has hired into Cisco. If their VP or Director tells them they have 5 objectives for the quarter, they revert to their college days and focus on those 5 objectives only. Cisco employees in the field can give suggestions or raise objections, but all will fall on deaf ears. No, the syllabus people don't question. They latch onto a famous company and do exactly what they're told. Their rewards are a job where they don't have to think for themselves, and the proud smiles of their relatives when they state, "I work for Cisco."

Finally, its curious (at least in my opinion) that Cisco has been so quiet publicly about Brian Schipper's departure. However, do note that Schipper's photo and bio were immediately removed from Cisco's Mount Rushmore. Oddly enough, Daniel Scheinman's photo and bio remains even though he tweeted his resignation from Cisco on April 12, 2011.

Related stories:

Cisco's FY11 global workforce reduction appears to have specifically targeted the United States

California law firm warns Cisco employees: Do not sign severance agreement

1,826 Cisco WebEx and collaboration employees guillotined by Tandberg executives

Cisco insight series: Expendable Cisco business units and employees

Discord between Cisco engineers and Cisco technical marketing appears rampant

Cisco's 2011 voluntary enhanced early retirement program (EER)

16-year Cisco employee headcount chart

Cisco's restructuring embeds operating committee, councils, boards and working groups deeper into Cisco's new management structure

What's your take?

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