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John Chambers stumbles on raiding CCIEs from Cisco Channel Partners

Earlier this week during the Orlando Cisco Live! 2013 CCIE meet and greet, Cisco CEO John Chambers became tongue-tied, stumbled and was unable to answer a CCIE's simple question about raiding CCIE's from Cisco Channel Partners.

Hummelstown, PA:   Thu, 6/27/13 - 8:44pm    View comments

Cisco CEO John Chambers at Cisco Live! 2013

Transcript of the Orlando Cisco Live! 2013 CCIE meet and greet with Cisco CEO John Chambers:


"Hey John, this question is actually from a friend of mine who's a recruiter, but I think it's important..."

John Chambers:

"I always say that when I have a tough question... my customer's are asking this question..."


"One of the problems CCIEs have, if we work for a reseller, that reseller gets status based on the number of CCIEs...

John Chambers:



"Some formula that I frankly don't really understand but the problem is, lets say Reseller B wants to recruit me and they offer me a better deal, more money, whatever... if I go over to that reseller, Cisco has anti-poaching provisions saying Reseller B won't be able to use my CCIE credentials for a year... which means that me as an individual employee am now less valuable to Reseller B and frankly, I think that makes CCIEs less valuable."

John Chambers:

"How many people agree? How many people disagree? OK, so let me hear the disagree side."


"So I would agree that if you payed-out-of-pocket you should be able to go. But if your employer, now there's a lot of benefits and costs and if they're paying for that, then, then... but that can be done with a contract between the employer and employee at the time that the employer is paying for that."

John Chambers:

"So what I'm going to do is take the action item... I'd like to open up a chat on this to get both sides on it... we'll take a look at it... including perhaps not being a year but 6-months, what we don't want to do for our channel partners is just create a constant raid environment, that is just not constructive, is not who we are, that's why we try to do these programs where you as a channel partner re-invest in people, re-invest in the opportunity and so the last thing we what to do when it comes to resource poaching is switch it the other way, so, ahh, let us take a look at that, am not sure on how it will turn out, but I will promise you that we will make a decision on it one way or the other."

Here's an interesting sidenote for John Chambers to consider:

It appears that Cisco itself may actually be the biggest and most prolific poacher of CCIEs when it comes to raiding CCIE talent from Cisco's Channel Partners.

Related document:

Cisco limits the recruiting of CCIEs from one partner to another

"Because of their expert skills and experience, CCIEs are in demand among Cisco's channel partners. To limit the adverse impact of losing a key staff member, Cisco's Gold and Silver Channel Partner Program sets policy regarding hiring CCIEs away from other Cisco Channel Partners. In general, the program rules prevent a reseller who hires a CCIE away from another reseller, from using that CCIE to qualify for Gold or Silver status for a period of 12 months."

View the worldwide CCIE count as well as CCIE Water Cooler Gossip.

Related story:

Wow, there appears to be a Cisco talent sham - Anonymous

What's your take?

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