By Jennifer Elias – Technology Reporter, Silicon Valley Business Journal
May 24, 2018, 3:52pm PDT Updated May 24, 2018, 5:25pm PDT
Cisco Systems is creating a new customer service group, which has prompted a well-known leader and company veteran to step down.
The new group is called the Cisco Customer Experience organization and will consolidate multiple groups that were previously separate, the San Jose-based company confirmed Thursday.
Cisco said it shared the "high-level strategy" and the structure for Cisco’s new Customer Experience organization with employees on Thursday, adding that the new group will be led by Maria Martinez, a recent hire from Salesforce.com.
"We are aligning our teams to support the evolution of our operating model to deliver value to our customers throughout their life-cycle and support the company’s transition to recurring revenue," Cisco said in a statement emailed to the Business Journal. “We are focused on helping our customers take full advantage of our software, subscription and services offerings as we continue to transform to a more predictive and proactive model."
The new group will merge formerly separate groups, including the Advanced Services Group and the Technical Services Group, each of which include several thousand employees.
The current Technical Services Group, which has more than 7,000 employees, is responsible for technical support, engineer education, Cisco's critical accounts program, issues detection and technical training for customers.
The transition comes as Cisco increasingly moves to a software-as-a-service model that includes a subscription-focused strategy. The news also comes one month after Martinez, a former Salesforce customer service executive, was hired by Cisco in a newly created executive role called chief customer experience officer.
The internal changes caused 27-year Cisco veteran and Technical Services Senior Vice President Joe Pinto to announce on Wednesday that he is stepping down from his position, a departure Cisco confirmed Thursday.
Pinto, a well-known group leader at the company, said he will hand over the reins to Martinez in the next several months, according to an internal email obtained by the Business Journal.
“I support the decisions that we have made as a leadership team, and the process by which we arrived at the changes," his note states. "And I’ve reached the decision that this is the right time for me to pass the baton to the next generation of leaders — who will take Customer Experience to a new level. I am confident that the culture, business, and future that we’ve laid the groundwork for together has never been in a better place for this change.”
“Today, we are at yet another inflection point,” Pinto's note read, referring to the organizational changes. He added that he'll remain in his current role through Cisco’s fiscal year 2018, and aiding Martinez' transition into early fiscal year 2019.
The company said in a statement: “We thank Joe Pinto for his leadership, dedication and contribution to Cisco over the last 27 years. He will remain on as an advisor to assist through this transition.”
Pinto joined Cisco in 1991 as a Technical Assistance Center (TAC) engineer. He couldn't immediately be reached for additional comment.Rank Business name Local employee headcount 1 Apple Inc. 25,000 2 Alphabet Inc. 20,000 3 County of Santa Clara 18,244 View This List