Shucks Chuck, how many employees pay = one Cisco CEO?

Robbins and the C suite bumper pay day on back of router and switch kingpin's 2023 double digit sales swing

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins' compensation swelled to $31.8 million in the company's fiscal 2023, after he steered the networking kingpin to hit performance and operational targets.

The package comprised $1.39 million salary, $24.1 million in long term stock awards, $6.26 million in non-equity incentives and $78,053 for all other compensation, including security personnel and travel.

This was higher than the $25.4 million Robbins was awarded in 2021 and the $29.28 million in 2022, years when Cisco grew low single digits, such was disruption to the world of work and the global supply caused by the emergence of a certain virus.

In Cisco's most recent financial year ended July 29, it reported turnover from sales of $56.998 billion, up 11 percent year-on-year, and a seven percent spike in operating income to $15 billion.

Similarly operating cashflow was 50 percent above the prior year, earnings per share was up 14 percent and product annualized run rate was up ten percent. Cisco bought back $4.3 billion of shares and forked out more some $6.3 billion in cash dividends.

"Our strategy to transform our business model continues to resonate with customers as they digitize their organizations. In fiscal 2023, total subscription revenue increased 10 percent. RPO continued to grow strongly and exceeded $34 billion, reflecting the strength of our portfolio of software and services," Cisco says in its Notice of Annual Meeting and Proxy Statement [PDF].

"We are also focused on the entire customer lifecycle to drive expansion and renewals," it adds.

The company had a decent year and still remains top dog in the world of routers and switches. That's not to say Cisco has it all its own way - smaller rivals including Arista are biting at its heels, counting Microsoft and Meta as its biggest single customers. At the other end, Hewlett Packard Enterprise is greater competition.

Robbins was also paid for meeting Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance goals, including reducing Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions.

The "median employee" at Cisco was paid $119,165 in fiscal '23, resulting in a CEO pay ratio of 267 to 1.

As for Robbins' C-suite? CFO Scott Here was awarded $17.5 million, up from $14.6 million; Maria Martinez, chief operating officer got $15.1 million, up from $12.54 million; and channel honcho Jeff Sharritts was awarded $11.4 million versus $7.24 million. ®

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