Cisco CEO Is Optimistic About Tech Collaboration With Biden Team

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Chuck Robbins, chief executive officer of Cisco Systems Inc., said he is optimistic about collaboration between Joe Biden’s White House and the technology sector.

“The administration has been very active reaching out to CEOs, to have a dialog about how to work together to solve problems in the country and attack opportunities,” Robbins said in an interview at the Bloomberg Year Ahead conference Wednesday.

Biden’s response to the pandemic shows he’s committed to science, and the new U.S. President will likely take the same approach to technology, Robbins added, citing infrastructure, broadband and “bridging the equality divide” as examples.

The private sector should work with the government to provide nationwide broadband and technology skills training to help narrow the digital divide, the CEO said. He also welcomed regulation of the tech industry and said he’s open to discussing how to do this with the Biden administration.

Robbins has been outspoken about social justice and he continued that theme on Wednesday, saying companies don’t have the option “of sitting on the sidelines any longer.” Cisco has a team that is working on a “social justice strategy” to guide the company’s investments, he noted. In September, the company promised to increase Black representation in its workforce.

The pandemic has taught Cisco that employees can be productive from anywhere, and that will have a lasting impact on where the company hires talent, Robbins added. The crisis also forced the company to reassess its ability to support remote workers, both in terms of collaboration and security. “I think it’s going to be the future of hybrid work,” the CEO said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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