The change gives Robbins more complete control to steer Cisco, the biggest maker of equipment that forms the backbone of the internet, away from its reliance on the high-priced hardware, which provides most of its revenue.
As CEO of Cisco, Chambers, 68, was one of the most prominent spokesmen for the boom that transformed the internet into a network that redefined how people work, communicate and get entertainment.
He charted the rise that briefly made Cisco the world’s most valuable company and later navigated it through the dot-com bust, the financial crisis and the advent of a fresh crop of competitors that are creating less-expensive ways to design and manage computer networks.
Robbins, who assumed the CEO role in July 2015, has struggled to fire up sales as the industry shifts to computing in the cloud -- remote data centers that provide services over the internet.
Owners of such facilities like Amazon.com Inc. ’s Amazon Web Services are increasingly building their own hardware and replacing traditional suppliers of servers, storage and networking.
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