Karen Walker

SVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Cisco

Director, Eli Lilly

Karen Walker is the Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Cisco. Based in San Jose, Walker is responsible for the company’s Marketing & Communications group. Her 20-plus years in the IT industry have included senior field and marketing leadership roles in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to joining Cisco, she held multiple business and consumer leadership positions at Hewlett-Packard.

Since becoming Cisco’s CMO in 2015, Karen has completely transformed the Marketing function at Cisco to become the leader in real-time, personalized marketing. She has invested heavily in the newest marketing technologies to build a multi-award-winning technology stack. She has led the organization as Cisco’s brand value increased 16% in the past 3 years to $34.6B dollars, ranking #15 in the world according to Interbrand.

Walker is a recognized industry authority on both technology and marketing topics, frequently participating in industry panels and keynotes. For three years in a row, Karen has been recognized by Forbes as one of the World’s Most Influential CMOs, currently ranked in the Top 10 globally. She is a board member of the Association of National Advertisers and is a strong supporter of the #SeeHer movement – an effort by the ANA to accurately portray all women and girls in the media by 2020. This aligns with her passion for supporting and encouraging women in STEM. Other passions, both professional and personal, include interior design, bio-technology, soccer, and educating the next wave of marketers. She also serves on the Board of Eli Lilly.

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.

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