Gwinnett native to lead big tech player Cisco

Cisco Systems, a major maker of networking equipment, announced Monday that a company veteran who grew up in Gwinnett County will become the Cisco’s first new chief executive in 20 years.

Chuck Robbins is slated to become CEO on July 26, filling the spot held by John Chambers since 1995.

Robbins, 49, has been the senior vice president of worldwide operations for San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco, a $47-billion-a-year maker of cable, telecom and other broadband equipment.

He’s been with Cisco for 17 years, including time he was based in the Lawrenceville area where the company’s operations included those of the former Scientific-Atlanta. Cisco bought Scientific-Atlanta, a maker of TV set-top boxes and other equipment, in 2006 for $6.9 billion.

The company has about 1,600 employees in metro Atlanta, according to a company spokesman. The company had more than 1,900 locally in 2012, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution report at the time.

Robbins was born at DeKalb General Hospital and lived in Grayson and Snellville until he was 13, when he moved to North Carolina, according to Cisco.

Robbins did two tours with Cisco in metro Atlanta, once from 2002 to 2008 and again in 2011 to 2012.He serves on the Georgia Tech Advisory Board for the institute’s president, according to the company.

In a statement, Robbins said he is “focused on accelerating the innovation and execution that our customers need from us. Their success will continue to drive us. At a time when our industry is on the cusp of more disruption than we’ve ever encountered, I couldn’t be more confident in our ability to win, or more honored to lead this great company.”

One of Cisco’s smaller but fast-growing rivals is another metro Atlanta company, Suwanee-based Arris Group, which has become a major maker of set-top boxes and other equipment for TV, voice and broadband connections.