Karen Walker is the Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Cisco. As CMO, Karen is responsible for the company's Marketing and Communications and Government and Community Relations groups. Her organization's role and purpose are to inspire people to prefer, choose, and advocate Cisco: positioning its growth strategy, cultivating opportunities in new and existing customer markets, and growing demand for Cisco solutions globally.
Since joining Cisco, Walker has championed marketing's role as an accountable business function aligning closely with sales teams and a vital resource to partners. Most recently, she led the global Go to Market organization, responsible for creating and delivering the integrated global marketing plan for the company, from marketing strategy through to in-country execution of brand campaigns and marketing programs.
Walker's team takes an integrated marketing and communications approach from brand to demand, using digital and social media to engage customers and partners on their purchase journey. This approach has resulted in industry recognition, including a 2014 SiriusDecisions ROI Award, and Cisco being recognized as the company to which customers say they are most emotionally connected (Google/CEB 2013 study). The company also moved up to number 13 on Interbrand's annual survey of top 100 global brands, with a 7 percent increase in brand value (to US$29.053B in 2013).
Previously at Cisco, Walker was Senior Vice President of Segment, Services, and Partner Marketing, leading a global team to engage customers in addressing their technology challenges with Cisco product and services solutions.
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 Vice President of Alliances and Marketing for HP Services and Vice President of Strategy and Marketing for both the Consumer Digital Entertainment and Personal Systems groups.
Walker is a recognized industry authority on both technology and marketing topics. She's been named as one of the 50 Most Innovative CMOs in the world by the editors at Business Insider for 2016. She is a board member of the I.T. Services Marketing Association and a member of the CMO Council North America Advisory Board, the Marketers That Matter Council, Advancing Executive Women (AWE) in Silicon Valley, and CRN's 2013 Women of the Channel. Walker also sponsors multiple initiatives to accelerate female leadership within Cisco, and she has lectured about business thought leadership at UC Berkeley, Haas Business School, as well as multiple industry keynotes.
Walker holds a bachelor of science degree with joint honors in chemistry and business studies from Loughborough University in England.