Cathy Smith has been appointed as GM for Cisco’s business operations in South Africa.
Smith has a 25-year track record of advising leading private and public sector organisations on IT strategies that connect everything, embrace analytics and secure their technology and operations.

She is a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative (ALI), an organisation set up to develop the next generation of “values” based African leaders who are capable of guiding and leading their countries as they struggle to align the
demands of globalisation with local visions of “a good society”.

This aligns strongly with Cisco’s goals for Africa and Smith will be bringing her experience and key learnings from the work she does with ALI to share best practice with other Cisco leaders in Africa.

Prior to joining Cisco, Smith worked for IBM for more than 23 years, where she held various leadership roles in IT service delivery, HR and sales which have furnished her with the skills to lead a diverse team as well as build strong customer relationships. She also spent three years in the UK, where she held a number executive European and global roles in the outsourcing services business consolidating her international expertise.

Before joining IBM, Smith worked for several other companies in the insurance industry as an application developer.

Smith is married with two daughters and has a keen interest in community work.

David Meads, vice-president of Cisco Africa, says: “As South Africa continues to chart the course for economic transformation, its future lies in the ability of private and public sector organizations to set a bold technological agenda and take the initiative on transformational projects that harness the power of Internet to bring about meaningful change. Cisco has a focused agenda to support South Africa embrace this change through technology and given Cathy’s IT industry credentials she is well placed to engage with government and organisations in the country to identify opportunities for development and growth.”

Smith comments: “I am looking forward to the exciting challenge of leading Cisco’s business in South Africa given the important and integral role it has in Cisco’s strategy for growth in Africa. It is an interesting time for South Africa as it embraces the new digital era and develops an agile IT model. At Cisco, our customers are at the core of all our business activities and our dedicated approach to delivering innovative technology solutions as well as thought leadership that will help them thrive in the digital era. This is where I plan to focus my energies in the coming years.”