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Monday, September 18, 2017

Diverse leadership in ICT, enabler of innovation – Cathy Smith

Diverse leadership has been described as enabler of innovation by companies, especiaolly those playing within the Information and Communication Technology (ICT), reports ITRealms.

This was made known by the newly promoted Managing Director of Cisco for Sub-Saharan Africa, Mrs. Cathy Smith, noted that as a female in a predominantly male industry, the challenges faced at onset of her career in the industry really had to do with educating oneself and colleagues.

She also said that by educating each other on different backgrounds equally provided everyone the use of different strengths to conquer.

“We are indeed stronger together, as the saying goes,“ she declared.

ITRealms recalls that Cathy Smith joined Cisco in April 2015 as the head of Cisco’s business operations across South Africa. In her role, Smith was responsible for the development and execution of Cisco’s go-to-market sales and digital transformation strategies for the region.

She will now look after the whole of the region reporting to David Meads. Olakunle Oloruntimehin who is the General Manager for Cisco Nigeria and English speaking West Africa and David Bunei (General Manager: East Africa and Indian Ocean Islands) remain in their roles but will work with and report to Smith in her expanded role.

As Sub-Saharan  Africa’s Governments and organizations embrace the next wave of technology transformation and become fully digitized, this presents a new opportunity for new revenue streams, better customer, citizen service delivery, new operating models to deliver greater value, and new job streams. Smith has over 25 years of experience in the IT industry leading diverse teams in both private and public sector organizations, as well as building strong partner and customer relations. Smith spent 23 years with IBM where she held various leadership roles in IT service delivery, HR and Sales.

Before joining IBM, she worked for several companies in the Insurance Industry as an application developer. She also spent three years in the United Kingdom where she consolidated her international expertise and held a number of executive roles for the European and global markets with a focus on outsourcing services business.

Cathy Smith is a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative (ALI), an organization set up to develop the next generation of value-based African leaders who are capable of guiding and leading their countries as they struggle to align the demands of globalization with local visions of a sustainable society. She is a Board Director at Cisco Systems South Africa (Pty) LTD and Cisco Technologies Solutions.


Smith is married and has two daughters. Her passion lies in Leadership Development, particularly as the world transforms to the Digital Era.

Uj. N. Dominic/ED, Ops

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