Module 5 – Understanding Changes to the Senior Management Teams

  • Objectives
  • Instructor Comments
  • Assignment


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The aim of this assignment is to help learners recognize the importance of senior management teams and as well as changes in their composition.

Instructor Comments

Many individuals equate career success with a position as an officer or executive of a large publicly traded corporation. While remuneration is often considerable, a downside of such success is that one’s life enters into the public domain. Observers, analysts and researchers of these corporations benefit from by being offered access to back ground information on these individuals. Biographies may be accessed online from U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings by their employers. What is beneficial about such access is that the past behavior of executives often points to the future. We are creatures of habit.


Knowing the skills and previous successes of an individual often predicts how he or she might deal with a crisis or challenge and in turn enhance outsiders understanding of these large for profit entities. Knowing backgrounds also enables observers to understand who is who on corporate teams. Who did the CEO hire? Who preceded the CEO? Answers to questions such as these suggest who is powerful and who is an insider to decision making? Knowing education backgrounds and previous employers can also suggest who will be turned to for advice in challenging moments. As noted above, SEC documents such as a 10K filing will highlight the year when an executive started with a company. Looking back at previous years documents, one can determine when executives were hired, fired or retired. When this type of information is compared with share price data available using Yahoo!Finance, one can often tie executive changes to performance declines. Applying this type of knowledge is the purpose of this assignment.


You should base your responses to the following questions on the insight found in the 10K SEC filing of Cisco Systems and the following websites.

The 10K Form is the Annual Report filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of a company whose shares trade publicly on U.S. stock exchanges. 10K Forms identify members of executive teams, offer brief biographies and identify when these executives started in these positions. They also offer financial information about the company.

Please answer the following questions:

  • Please identify the current CEO of each of Cisco Systems and two of its competitors. For each CEO please examine his or her bio and any back ground information. Please summarize his or her previous successes.
  • For each CEO, can you predict any future corporation initiatives as a result of his or her demonstrated track record?
  • For each company please identify the senior executives today and in 2000. How many members of the team have changed? What percentage is this? How have profit and revenues changed in this same time period?
  • If a change in CEO has occurred, please examine the date of the change. Can you suggest why the change occurred?
  • Please identify two important things that each company is doing differently now as compared with 2000.
  • So what?


Please limit your response to this assignment to three single spaced, typed pages. Please cite your sources in the text and please reference them at the end of your assignment. Please end your write-up with one paragraph that summarizes what you think is the importance of this assignment.

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