Charlie Johnston

SVP; Global Sales, Marketing, and Country HR

Charlie Johnston is Cisco's Senior Vice President of HR for Global Sales, Marketing and Country HR.

Partnering with Gerri Elliott, EVP and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, he assumes leadership of HR across the global sales and marketing organization (which employs over 18,000 people) and is responsible for the delivery of HR services to the 93 countries in which Cisco has a presence.

Charlie joined Cisco in May 2007 as HR Director for UK and Ireland (UKI) with the responsibility for driving change within UKI as Cisco began its global workplace transformation.

His vision was to embrace a collaborative style of leadership to empower an open and informal culture with technology at the heart of the way Cisco does business. The result was a drive to innovative strategic HR interventions within the UKI HR organization.

A fresh challenge presented itself in October 2010 when Charlie took over leadership of HR for Cisco's EMEAR region. Thanks to his insightful guidance, during his tenure Cisco increased its employee engagement scores significantly, moving from the seventeenth Best Place to Work in Europe, to fourth within two years.

Instrumental in the design of Cisco's innovative employee engagement and experience transformation program, called ‘The People Deal', Charlie's vision went global and now underpins the work driven by the company over the past few years to continue improvements in global employee engagement. 

It was this that provided the impetus for the changes implemented when Chuck Robbins became CEO of Cisco in 2015, which is when Charlie relocated to San Francisco to embark on his current role.

Before joining Cisco, Charlie spent ten years at IBM, where, latterly, he headed up the HR function of the Global Services arm of IBM UK.

A proud Scot, Charlie studied International Business with Human Resources Management at Stirling University. He is a Fellow of the UK's Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and is passionate about the impact and possibilities that great HR practices and technology continues to have on the world.


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