Working for an international multibillion dollar company is at the very least, quite a taxing role. Even more so when you approach the top rungs of business, yet Karen Walker seems to have a grip on just what it takes.
From her humble beginnings at HP, she worked her way through the corporate ladder for 17 years, and was promoted to “Worldwide Vice President of Business and Marketing Strategy.” From this point onwards is where Karen started to blossom. She quickly rose through the ranks until she finally ended her 25 year run at HP, and started her new job at Cisco in the start of January 09, as “Global Vice President of Marketing and Communications – Cisco Services.”
At Cisco she had also not wasted any time, and was appointed as “Senior Vice President of Marketing” in February of 2013. An impressive feat given that Cisco moved to number 13 on Interbrand’s annual survey of the top 100 companies in 2013. Karen has started several campaigns within Cisco, and has always been spot on. For instance, she launched a $1bn sales target campaign across the organisation, and ended it off with $2.4bn achieved.
Karen is not only an inspirational leader, but also a visionary. She is continuously driving numerous strategies to improve the relationship that Cisco has not only with direct clients, but also with vendors and resellers. She is championing a human-to-human interaction between Cisco and its clients, in an effort to build trustworthy and emotional connections. With superior hardware and support, how can a strategy like that fail.
Then on the other hand, she also makes sure that she is tech savvy. She has played an integral part in promoting “The Internet of Things,” and has been positioning Cisco right in the middle of that revolution. The Internet of things is valued by Cisco as a $14.4 trillion dollar industry, and they are already finding ways of making it happen. Attach that to their current “Big Data” strategy, and you have a very well defined market leader in future tech.
Amidst all the information and lingo, something very evident came up while researching Karen Walker. Her private life is quite private. Her LinkedIn profile is linked to her Cisco corporate profile, all very well written and tidy. Her Twitter account is a flurry of retweets, replies, and some Cisco articles. And that’s all you can find without digging really deeply. It’s an amicable skill, to be in such a public role, and yet still have your own retreat.