Networking giant Cisco is plowing ahead under the management of CEO Chuck Robbins, a man whom longtime Cisco CEO and Silicon Valley luminary John Chambers once called an “execution machine.” The technology landscape is in the midst of a major shift as more businesses spend more money on cloud services from companies like Amazon and Microsoft than on datacenter hardware, the kind that has historically been Cisco’s specialty. As the company forges ahead, retooling its business for the cloud era, it has been simultaneously cutting costs while gobbling up upstarts. In the two years that Robbins has been in charge, Cisco has made about 20 acquisitions, including snatching up AppDynamics, an application analytics firm, for $3.7 billion just before the company was set to list on a stock exchange, and Viptela, a leader in software-defined networking, for $610 million in May. Expect to see more acquisitions as Cisco continues its transformation from a hardware-first company to one with software at its core.
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