Blair Christie: Power List 2012

Within her 13-year tenure at Cisco, Blair Christie has risen in rank from IR director to SVP and CMO, where she leads all marketing and communications functions for the networking equipment company.

SVP and CMO, Cisco
Within her 13-year tenure at Cisco, Blair Christie has risen in rank from IR director to SVP and CMO, where she leads all marketing and communications functions for the networking equipment company.

In April 2011, Cisco embarked on a corporate turnaround after suffering from weakened customer spending and missed Wall Street earnings expectations for consecutive quarters.

Christie finessed communications around initiatives that made Cisco a stronger company by reducing operating expenses, streamlining its work force by 6,500, and refocusing on fewer core initiatives. Those efforts paid off with rising stock prices and improved financials. Most recently, sales increased 6.6%, to $11.6 billion, for the quarter ending April 28, 2012, versus the comparable quarter in 2011.

Christie carried multiple learnings from her IR background into her current role. Cisco integrated its corporate communications, PR, and government affairs function under Christie's direction, helping to speed along its resurgence as a powerhouse brand throughout the past year.

In addition to leading communications with stakeholders, businesses, and other target audiences, Christie has also helped Cisco bolster its internal communications efforts with its 63,820 employees around the globe. She often uses Cisco TelePresence technology to communicate with her own teams – for example, creating video messages that enforce key information and then encouraging employees to provide positive and negative feedback to create a healthy dialogue.

While holding her high-powered roles at Cisco, Christie is also raising three children with such a stroke of work-life balance that she was named "Working Mother of the Year" by Working Mother magazine in 2009.

Christie is also active in the community, serving on the board of the San Jose Tech Museum and the President's Leadership Council at Drexel University. Additionally, she is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society and sits on Cisco's Enterprise Business Council.

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