Karen Walker

Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer

Karen Walker is the Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Cisco, overseeing Global Marketing. Walker and her team are responsible for building and strengthening Cisco's brand, supporting growth strategies, cultivating opportunities in new and existing markets, and increasing demand for Cisco's solutions globally.

Since joining Cisco, Walker has championed marketing's role as an accountable business function, aligning closely with sales teams, engineering teams, and Cisco partners. Karen has made strategic investments to further Marketing's vision to become the leader in real-time, personalized marketing. Most notably, she has invested in the newest marketing technologies to build a multi-award-winning techstack (Markie 2017 and 2018, Stackie 2017, and more), creating a world-class digital marketing infrastructure optimizing for the best experience for our customers, sellers, and partners. Walker has also led as Cisco's brand value increased 16% to $34.6B dollars, ranking #15 on Interbrand's Best Global Brands list.

Leading up to her promotion to CMO, Walker excelled in her various roles at Cisco, starting as the Global VP of Services Marketing, growing to take on Segments and Partners, and then finally becoming SVP of Go-to-market.

Walker's 20-plus years in the IT industry have included senior field and marketing leadership roles in Europe, North America, and the Asia Pacific region. She joined Cisco from Hewlett-Packard, where she held business and consumer leadership positions including VP Marketing for HP Services, Executive Director of Consumer Digital Entertainment and VP Personal Systems groups.

Walker is a recognized industry authority on both technology and marketing topics, frequently participating on panels and giving keynotes around the world. For three years in a row she has been recognized by Forbes as one of the world's Most Influential CMOs, currently ranked in the Top 10 globally. She is a member of the Board of the Association of National Advertisers and is a strong supporter of the #SeeHer movement – an effort led by the ANA to accurately portray women and girls in the media by 2020. Walker also sponsors multiple initiatives to accelerate female leadership within Cisco and has lectured on business thought leadership at multiple universities.

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.


October 22, 2013


#ExecInsights: IoE, Healthcare, and Parking Among Hot Topics at Gartner Symposium

So, it turns out the most tweeted topic from my recent presentation at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo was about how much of their lives Parisian motorists spend searching for parking (let’s just say it’s more than a year!).   As I told the audience in Orlando, that stress-ridden search is one of countless challenges we can tackle […]

October 3, 2013


Gartner ITxpo: The Internet of Everything Drives Business Innovation

In a few days, I have the opportunity to discuss how the Internet of Everything (IoE) is opening up new levels of innovation, business models, and economic opportunity to CIOs and IT leaders at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2013. It’s no small task explaining the vast possibilities the Internet of Everything can offer, but here’s a […]