Citing social unrest, Cisco postpones Cisco Live

Cisco Chuck Robbins
Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins announces that his company is postponing its virtual Cisco Live conference until later in June to give its customers, partners and attendees time to reflect on racial tensions in the U.S. (FierceTelecom)

Cisco is postponing its flagship event, Cisco Live, until later in June due to the ongoing racial tension in the U.S.

The first all-digital version of the Cisco Live conference was scheduled to kick-off on Tuesday, but was instead postponed at the eleventh hour. According to a spokesperson, Cisco made the decision to postpone its conference Monday afternoon.

"This decision was a difficult one to come by given how badly we want to connect with you, share what we've been working on at Cisco, offer you both technology and leadership insights and celebrate as we always do," Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said in a video. "But in light of recent events and the turmoil happening across the United States, and with some of your feedback, we feel this is the right thing to do. And that is something we always strive for at Cisco.

"Right now, people across the U.S. and the world are dealing with so much pain, frustration and anger. And many of us need time for space and healing. Whether it's to support your families, friends and colleagues, or simply time for yourself, we want to give you space this week to go do what you need to do."

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Robbins said in his video "today we find ourselves facing another pandemic."

"Not one that is new by any means, but one that we must confront," Robbins said. "The recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many more before them are horrific, maddening and truly abhorrent. At Cisco, we've always aspired to foster an environment of dignity, respect, fairness, and equality for all. Not just within the walls, or virtual walls these days, of our company, but this is the world we envision.

"We recently unveiled our new purpose to power an inclusive future for all. I'm proud to share that Cisco is donating $5 million to charities dedicated to fighting racism and discrimination. This is just the first step. There is so much more we can do beyond just a statement of solidarity or financial support, including acknowledgement, understanding and action. Thank you for your support and for your trust."