A Quarter Century of Globally Influenced Innovative Leadership

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The Month of August is significant to me as it marks my anniversary date of joining Cisco. And this year, I crossed the threshold of 25 years of employment with Cisco.

Some may wonder why I would stay at the same company for many years. It is simple, and Cisco is a company that strives to be the best environment for its employees. For many years, Cisco has been rated as the best place to work and, the past few years, the #1 best place to work.

Every year I have challenged myself, taken risks, and enabled positive change and impact. Early on, I had already thought of where I will be making career investments and was determined to take on all opportunities no matter where that career path led me around the globe.

I have always been confident and true to who I am, and I needed to be because we were the trailblazers creating and innovating the plan as we went. Here is a glimpse into this journey.

My professional career did not start with Cisco. Before Cisco, I spent ten years coordinating and managing supply chains and customer service teams at Texas Instruments and Apple Computer. I used this early experience to move to Cisco in a big step toward scaling my experience to become the Managing Director of Customer Service and Operations for Cisco’s EMEA organization working from my home country in the Netherlands.

I led a world-class customer experience organization, implemented business processes that drove productivity for channel account managers, and raised sales satisfaction scores by 50%.

Next was to replicate the success in EMEA and build out customer service and operations for the Asian region. There needed to be a change to run the business from the main regional business center in China, Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Australia as opposed to a single central location. We grew much faster by decentralizing and localizing business operations.

Then I moved back to the Netherlands and took the role of growing targeted emerging markets in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and Mexico. I was part of the Country Boards, leading the operations and business development efforts and successfully achieved $1 billion in revenues per country.

Along the way, I realized that a global approach to the business model would significantly improve operations. This initiative quickly encompassed 25 countries and required cross-discipline leaders from many organizations. The path to this success created a move to Cisco Headquarters in California in the USA. The country-entity structure was massive and was delivered in nine short months.

While in the USA, I significantly broadened my customer satisfaction and operation expertise to other functional areas in Global Marketing Operations, Service Provider Operations and Planning, CTO’s office of Cloud Operations and Planning, and Strategic Initiatives for the Transformation Office.

In 2019, I was invited to take on a role in what is now known as the Global Partner Routes to Market Sales (GPRS) organization. I am responsible for simplifying, digitizing, and personalizing a world-class experience and maximizing partner performance. I have updated my organization’s name to reflect this importance to Partner Performance and Experience. In 2021, my path took me back to the Netherlands, where everything started.

Working with exceptionally talented individuals in every aspect of my career has been super exciting. I believe Cisco’s work to support diversity, inclusion, and equality as the company culture attracts the best people globally. It is also great to see Cisco give back to the communities we live in, and this extends to how we are serious about sustainability, right down to the chips and paint we use with our products.

I hope that all of you who read this see yourself on a similar journey or, if you are early in your career, make your investments to create this reality.

I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Jose van Dijk

 


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