Karen Walker is the Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Cisco, overseeing Global Marketing. Walker and her team are responsible for building and strengthening Cisco's brand, supporting growth strategies, cultivating opportunities in new and existing markets, and increasing demand for Cisco's solutions globally.
Since joining Cisco, Walker has championed marketing's role as an accountable business function, aligning closely with sales teams, engineering teams, and Cisco partners. Karen has made strategic investments to further Marketing's vision to become the leader in real-time, personalized marketing. Most notably, she has invested in the newest marketing technologies to build a multi-award-winning techstack (Markie 2017 and 2018, Stackie 2017, and more), creating a world-class digital marketing infrastructure optimizing for the best experience for our customers, sellers, and partners. Walker has also led as Cisco's brand value increased 16% to $34.6B dollars, ranking #15 on Interbrand's Best Global Brands list.
Leading up to her promotion to CMO, Walker excelled in her various roles at Cisco, starting as the Global VP of Services Marketing, growing to take on Segments and Partners, and then finally becoming SVP of Go-to-market.
Walker's 20-plus years in the IT industry have included senior field and marketing leadership roles in Europe, North America, and the Asia Pacific region. She joined Cisco from Hewlett-Packard, where she held business and consumer leadership positions including VP Marketing for HP Services, Executive Director of Consumer Digital Entertainment and VP Personal Systems groups.
Walker is a recognized industry authority on both technology and marketing topics. She is a member of the Board of the Association of National Advertisers and is a strong supporter of the #SeeHer movement – an effort to accurately portray women and girls in the media by 2020. Walker also sponsors multiple initiatives to accelerate female leadership within Cisco and has lectured on business thought leadership at multiple universities. She also participates in multiple keynotes and panels across the industry – including Cannes Lions, Forbes, the ANA, and more.
Walker holds a Bachelor of Science degree with joint Honors in Chemistry and Business Studies from Loughborough University in England and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from the University of Sunderland in 2018.