Prediction: Next Cisco CEO Will Be Rob Lloyd

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) this week promoted both Gary Moore and Rob Lloyd (pictured, l.) to president, positioning both executives as potential successors to CEO John Chambers (r.) -- who plans to stick around for another two to four years. If The VAR Guy was a betting man, he'd put money on Lloyd as the networking company's next CEO. Here are four anecdotal reasons why.

Evidence One: Moore has been Cisco's chief operating officer (COO) since last year. When Moore was promoted into that COO post, several channel partners told The VAR Guy that Moore had no future ambitions to become CEO. Those same channel partners pointed instead to Lloyd as the leading candidate to succeed Chambers someday.

Evidence Two: Lloyd is constantly by Chambers' side during major press gatherings -- including media briefings at Cisco Partner Summit. (See FastChat Video example, courtesy of Talkin' Cloud.)

Evidence Three: Lloyd has overseen Cisco's sales organization since 2009, and he now oversees Cisco's engineering efforts. Sales and engineering? Hmmm... aren't those the two key components of Cisco's DNA?

Evidence Four: In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Chambers said "he wouldn't consider as a successor someone who would leave the company if passed over for the job."

All the anecdotal evidence suggests Moore won't be insulted if the CEO crown one day shifts from Chambers to Lloyd. That's the safe bet.

Oh, and a dark-horse CEO candidate: Chuck Robbins, who previously ran the Americas sales region. Robbins has assumed Lloyd's prior role as the head of worldwide sales.

TAGS: Networking
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