In his role as VP of Corporate Development and Cisco Investments, Rob Salvagno is responsible for leading all M&A and venture capital investments for Cisco. He manages Cisco’s strategic venture capital arm which invests hundreds of millions of dollars annually in the start-up ecosystem, helping anticipate the next set of market transitions, align with disruptive technologies, gain visibility into key geographies, and partner for innovative solutions.
Since joining Cisco in 2000, Rob has challenged the traditional model of corporate development, implementing a holistic strategy to accentuate Cisco’s technology portfolio, instead of individual deals. He led the execution of the $1.2 billion acquisition of cloud networking leader Meraki, one of the most successful platform acquisitions in Cisco’s history, and the $3.7 billion acquisition of AppDynamics, cementing Cisco’s place in the business intelligence, analytics and IT operations market. Most recently, Rob engineered the $2.3 billion acquisition of Duo, the leading provider of unified access security and multi-factor authentication delivered through the cloud.
To optimize external innovation as a mechanism for Cisco’s growth, Rob pioneered the creation of Cisco Investments, one of the most active and entrepreneurial-focused models for corporate venture capital in the industry. He extended this approach with the formation of Decibel, the first early-stage, independent VC established by a major technology company. He also co-architected the spin-ins of Nuova Systems and Insieme, spurring Cisco’s growth in data center and software-defined networking, and led the formation of alpha projects to accelerate cross-company innovation. In addition, Rob helped develop and accelerate new opportunities in China through the creation of several joint venture projects in the region.
Outside of Cisco, Rob serves as a board observer for Cohesity, an industry-leading enterprise storage company specializing in platforms for hyperconverged secondary storage solutions. Prior to Cisco, Rob was a technology investment banker at U.S. investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.
Rob earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford University.