Karen Walker

Karen Walker

Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer

Cisco Systems

Karen Walker, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Cisco Systems, was elected to the Eli Lilly and Company board of directors in 2018.

Based in San Jose, Walker is responsible for the company's marketing and communications group. Her 20-plus years in the IT industry have included senior field and marketing leadership roles in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to joining Cisco, she held multiple business and consumer leadership positions at Hewlett-Packard.

Walker is a board member and CMO Growth Council member of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). She was recognized two years in a row by Forbes as one of the Top 15 Most Influential CMOs in the World (2017 & 2018). She has lectured on marketing thought leadership and digital transformation at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business and the Kellogg School of Management, in addition to delivering industry keynotes.

Walker also sponsors multiple initiatives to accelerate female leadership within Cisco and is a strong supporter of the #SeeHer movement, which was started by the ANA with the goal of accurately portraying women and girls in the media by 2020. She also serves on the Advisory Council for the Salvation Army of Silicon Valley.

Walker holds a Bachelor of Science degree with joint Honors in Chemistry and Business Studies from Loughborough University in England and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from the University of Sunderland in 2018.