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Cisco Appoints David Meads Vice President for Middle East and Africa




Cathy Smith, Managing Director Cisco Sub-Saharan Africa

Cathy Smith, Managing Director Cisco Sub-Saharan Africa


Cisco today announced the appointment of David Meads as Vice President for its Middle East and Africa operations. In the current era of digital disruption, Meads, in this newly created role, will oversee the execution of Cisco’s strategy in these two regions, ensuring the technology leader maintains its momentum at the forefront of digital transformation efforts.


As digital adoption gathers pace in the Middle East and Africa, the new geographical set up under Meads will allow for greater synergies, relevancy and sharing of best practices across the two regions.


“David Meads’ appointment to lead Cisco’s business in the Middle East and Africa comes at a time of tremendous potential for the region to reap the benefits of digital transformation, supported by the prioritization of digitization in both government and business agendas,” said Edwin Paalvast, President, Cisco EMEAR.


With more than 30 years’ experience in the IT industry, Meads joined Cisco in 1996 and was most recently Cisco’s Vice President for Africa, where he was responsible for partnering with organizations across the continent to help them implement strategies to unlock the full potential of the digital era. Over the years he has developed a reputation as a trusted advisor to enterprises and governments, partnering with them to deliver competitive advantages and efficiencies gained by adopting digital technologies. Meads will be based in Dubai, Cisco’s hub for the Middle East.


“As we deepen the commitment to the region, we’re excited to have someone of David’s caliber at the helm to spearhead our strategy and support customers along their digitization journey. One of David’s priorities will be helping Cisco’s customers and partners create value in a highly connected, digital world, while enabling greater responsiveness to emerging market and customer needs,” concluded Paalvast.


Cisco has longstanding government partnerships across the Middle East and Africa, and is working closely with relevant government entities in the region on multiple initiatives that support IT skills training and education, as well as the development of entrepreneurship, business and innovation ecosystems.


“I look forward to taking on the additional responsibility of a fast-evolving, dynamic region and to working with the phenomenal team we have in place,” said David Meads, Vice President, Cisco Middle East and Africa. “Combined, the Middle East and Africa region has the world’s youngest demographic and presents a significant market opportunity, where new business models and innovative technology adoption are addressing unique market needs. Cisco’s expansive portfolio allows us to partner with our customers and support their digital journey.”


A veteran business leader, David Meads has rich sales leadership and general management credentials. He has held various leadership positions within Cisco, including a three year stint as Managing Director for South Africa, based in Johannesburg. During this time, he achieved exceptional levels of employee engagement within the organization and helped the country develop its e-skills initiative, aimed at harnessing the power of technology for inclusive socio-economic development.


Cisco also announced that Cathy Smith – who is currently the Managing Director for Cisco Southern Africa – will now look after the whole of the Sub-Saharan Africa region reporting to David Meads. Olakunle Oloruntimehin (General Manager: Nigeria and English speaking West Africa) and David Bunei (General Manager: East Africa and Indian Ocean Islands) remain in their roles but now report to Smith in her expanded role.



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