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Cisco names new marketing chief

Susan Bostrom, an eight-year veteran at the networking giant, is charged with helping broaden consumer reach.

Cisco Systems, a well-known technology giant in the corporate and service provider markets, announced Wednesday that it has promoted a longtime insider to its top marketing post as it prepares to broaden its reach to consumers.
Susan Bostrom
Susan Bostrom

Susan Bostrom, an eight-year Cisco veteran, will be the company's new chief marketing officer. In her new role, Bostrom will be in charge of Cisco's branding, advertising and positioning to help drive growth in Cisco's existing markets as well as in new ones.

Cisco is in the midst of preparing its launch into the consumer electronics business. It will announce its first products for the North American market in February as it kicks off a new entertainment department within its Linksys home-networking division.

"We always try to look three to five years out in the decisions we make," Cisco CEO John Chambers said in a statement. "And there's no question that the Cisco brand, our opportunity in the commercial market and the evolution of our leaders are going to take us to the next level."

Bostrom, who most recently led Cisco's Internet Business Solutions Group, will replace James Richardson, who previously held the top marketing position. Richardson has been appointed senior vice president of commercial business at Cisco, where he will help shape and execute Cisco's plan for pursuing the small and midsize business market, the company said.

Cisco, which is best known for selling networking gear to large businesses and Internet service providers, has been preparing to enter the consumer electronics market. Last year, the company made two key acquisitions as part of this strategy.

In July, it bought Kiss Technologies, a Danish DVD maker, for $61 million. And in November, it announced the $6.9 billion acquisition of Scientific Atlanta, the No. 2 supplier of set-top boxes to cable companies in the United States. With technology from these two acquisitions, Cisco plans to introduce new gadgets and consumer electronic products that take advantage of the networked home.