Western Digital Appoints Cisco Executive David Goeckeler as CEO

Anne Chou
Western Digital

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Western Digital Corp. taps David Goeckeler, executive vice president and general manager of Cisco’s networking and security business, as its new CEO succeeding Steve Milligan. He joins the maker of hard disk drives on March 9, and will also serve on its board.

Goeckeler, a 19-year Cisco veteran, was promoted in 2017 to his role heading Cisco’s $34 billion technology franchise and leading a global team of more than 25,000 engineers. He is credited with transforming Cisco’s networking and security strategy, and leading the development of “what is widely regarded as the best product and technology portfolio in Cisco’s history,” according to a company statement.

"With experience as a software engineer as well as running large semiconductor development projects, his breadth of technology expertise, business acumen and history of building and operating world-class organizations make him the right person to lead Western Digital in a world increasingly driven by applications and data," Chairman Matthew Massengill said in a statement.

Last October, Western Digital announced that Milligan, who has served as chief executive since 2013, would retire after 17 years with the company. He will remain with the company in an advisory role until September. Milligan took over as chief executive in 2015, and led Western Digital’s $19 billion acquisition of SanDisk that same year in a bid to create the leading storage solutions company. However, the company is now exiting the storage systems business with the sale of its IntelliFlash unit to DDN last September and the sale of its ActiveScale storage business to Quantum which was announced last month.

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