Cisco's Fowler to head up European business

Cisco's Fowler to head up European business

Cisco's former telstra business director, Les Williamson, takes up the A/NZ reins

After nearly four years at the helm, Cisco A/NZ vice-president, Ross Fowler, has been promoted to head up the networking giant's service provider business in Europe. He is being replaced locally by current client director for Telstra business, Les Williamson.

Fowler will now be responsible for relationships with cable, mobile, non-traditional and incumbent telecommunication providers throughout Europe. He will be based in Londo and starts in the new job on August 1.

Fowler said he had spent the past few months weighing up the pros and cons of the move.

"From a personal point of view, our youngest daughter has just finished high school, so it's good next phase in life for me and my wife," he said. "The service provider market, particularly in Europe, is going through a major transition. There's the launch of IPTV, as well as our Scientific Atlanta acquisition. It's a big move, but it feels good."

Fowler joined Cisco in October 2003 after 29 years with Alcatel. He singled out its strong business growth and working with the local channel as highlights.

"One of the things I've enjoyed in this job is the work with partners. I didn't think we were getting the most out of our channel when I came in. Having brought on Suzanne Hansen and now Jeff Sheard, we're in a better position and getting joint success as a result," he said.

Fowler also pointed to Cisco's strong employer achievements as key milestones. The vendor won a Best Employer Award from Hewitt last year, and has been recognised for its contribution towards equal opportunities for women in the workforce.

In a statement, Cisco Asia-Pacific vice-president, Owen Chan, congratulated Fowler on an outstanding job and welcomed Williamson into the A/NZ chair.

Williamson, who has been with Cisco since 1999, has held a variety of roles, including account and regional management and operations director. Most recently, he was tasked with leading Cisco's work with Telstra. Fowler wished Williamson all the best.

"Cisco put a leadership development program in place two years ago. We had a strong succession strategy in place, and we evoked it," he said.

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