Cisco Connect Sub-Saharan Africa 2019


David Meads
Vice President
Middle East and Africa, Cisco

David Meads was appointed to lead Cisco’s business and operations in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) in July 2017. Based out of Dubai, UAE, Meads oversees the execution of Cisco’s strategy across the two regions, ensuring the worldwide technology leader maintains its momentum at the forefront of digital transformation efforts.

As Cisco’s Vice President for the Middle East and Africa, Meads is responsible for the company’s sales and go-to-market strategy, in addition to overseeing growth initiatives, strategic alliances and field execution of that strategy. A key focus in this role is to partner with governments and businesses to build the technology skills, ecosystems and engines that drive economic growth, competitiveness and prosperity for emerging countries across the two regions.

Meads has over 30 years of experience in the ICT industry and is highly respected for his keen understanding of technology and market opportunities, as well as his track record of operational excellence. A 21-year Cisco veteran, he combines a deep expertise in building strategic customer relationships with a passion for people leadership, talent development and customer success. During his tenure he has gained a reputation as a transformational leader with deep market knowledge and an ability to deliver business performance outcomes in complex, dynamic markets.

Prior to his current role, Meads had a very successful tenure as Cisco’s Vice President for Africa, where he was responsible for partnering with African governments and private sector companies to help them define and implement digital strategies that unlock the full potential of the Internet of Things (IoT). In this capacity, he acted as a trusted advisor to organisations, cities and countries, helping them to understand how digitization can help them become more competitive, innovative and inclusive through life changing networks, enabled by technology.

Meads was previously Managing Director for Cisco South Africa based in Johannesburg, a role he held for three years and in which he helped the country accelerate its national digitization strategies and develop its e-skills initiatives to harness technology for socio-economic development.

Meads frequently represents Cisco at a number of high profile external events including the Internet of Things World Forum, World Economic Forum, AfricaCom and Cisco Connect events, ensuring that Cisco builds stronger strategic relationships with government, industry and business leaders.

Ivan Duggan
Director Enterprise Networks,
Europe, Middle East, Africa & Russia

Ivan has overall responsibility for ‘go to market’ of Cisco’s routing, switching and wireless portfolio’s in EMEAR, a portfolio that represents around 50% of Cisco’s product revenues in the region. With a key focus on enhancing customer’s digitisation evolution, productivity, profitability and lower costs through better use of Intelligent & Intuitive Networks.

With more than 30 years’ experience in the data communications industry, Ivan joined Cisco in 1999, has a diverse background of both domestic and international sales experience, holding various leadership positions in Cisco Ireland and EMEAR. In these roles Ivan was responsible for building strategic sales strategies and also served as a key spokesperson to influence the media and government on the importance of technology to drive innovation and economic growth. He also led the Architecture and Solutions team in EMEAR, where he was responsible for delivering Customer & Partner success through Architectural & solutions IT relevancy.

Ivan lives in Limerick, Ireland with his wife Siobhan and 2 university going children, he is an avid sports enthusiast and a regular attendee to his local Rugby Club, 2-time European Rugby champions, Munster. He would prefer a season ticket, unfortunately, his business travel curtails his ability to attend all games.

Clayton Naidoo
General Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa

Clayton Naidoo is the General Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa.  He is responsible for executing a regional-wide vision and strategy that delivers transformational value to our customers and partners; driving growth across all segments in all architectures; managing and achieving operational excellence; and continuing to develop strategic relationships across entire ecosystem to drive a digital agenda for Sub-Saharan Africa.

Most recently, Clayton was Head of the Digital Transformation team for Cisco South Africa, where he was responsible for developing and implementing the Public-Sector strategy for South Africa as well as some of our largest Enterprise customers.  

Prior to this, Clayton was the Regional Sales Manager for Strategic Accounts Southern Africa, where he overseed the development and implementation of the vertical strategy ensuring that he positions the business for growth and new business. He also fosters strong relationships with key customers and partners with the objective of supporting Cisco’s strategic business outcomes.

Clayton joined Cisco in 2007 as the Channel Service Account Manager and was appointed to Regional Sales Manager for Enterprise solutions shortly after that. In that role, Clayton successfully led the first Project One Pilot in EMEAR, where he led the integration of the Product and Services sales teams. The pilot was so successful that Cisco South Africa’s Enterprise Services Business doubled in FY14 and created a $15m recurring revenue stream for the country. As recognition of his achievements, he was appointed into the role of Regional Sales Manager for the Public Sector vertical where his mandate was to revamp, grow and maintain the business.

Prior to joining Cisco, Clayton spent two years as an Account Executive at the Learning Resources Group, a management consulting and learning services organisation where his main task was organisational performance. His academic achievements include a Master in Business Administration (MBA) and a Diploma in Advanced Management from the Management College of South Africa. 

Clayton can be described as passionate about organisational development, business strategy and innovation. He has achieved his greatest accomplishments through a combination of hard work, stewardship and ambition. He is married and has two children.

Charmaine Houvet
Public Policy Director: Africa, Cisco Systems

Charmaine Houvet’s love and passion for the ICT industry comes from over two decades of telecommunications experience working with private and public sector organizations across Africa.

She joined Cisco in March 2016 with several years’ experience as a Senior Executive in diverse and transformative roles with high profile leading ICT companies.

Charmaine holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree.

She is passionate about female and community development and serves on various boards and trusts whose objectives are aligned to her values.

Charmaine is a Trustee of the Cisco Charitable Trust Board which is headquartered in San Jose as well as a Board member of the Cisco Systems & Cisco Technology and Services in country.

She serves as a Chairperson of the South African Women in ICT Forum board and the South African Communications Forum (SACF). Charmaine is a member of the invitation only South African Chapter of the International Women’s Forum of South Africa.

Charmaine is passionate about transformation and the advancement of women in the sector and is the recipient of a number of business awards in recognition of her vision, leadership and achievements in the ICT sector. In November 2016, she was named South Africa’s Top Woman in ICT and in August 2017 Charmaine was awarded the MTN Ministerial Recognition Award for her outstanding contribution towards advancing the ICT industry in South Africa. CNBC Africa featured Charmaine as a disruptor in ICT in August 2017.

Charmaine serves on the Advisory Board of the Global Broadband Plan for Refugees Project to meet the broadband connectivity goal set by the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR).

Francine Katsoudas
Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer

Francine Katsoudas is Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer of Cisco. She plays a major role in the company’s overall performance, leading organizational strategy, promoting operational effectiveness, and elevating team performance through innovative leadership. 

She leads Cisco’s business-driven People Strategy and People Deal, both of which support and align to Cisco’s overall business strategy and are essential to driving the Company’s transformational journey. She also is evolving Cisco’s approach to strategic workforce planning with programs highlighting the skills and capabilities that employees need to be innovative in today’s technology driven environment. She fosters a culture of full spectrum participation, emphasizing inclusion and collaboration to drive exponential business value.  

A 22-year veteran of Cisco, Katsoudas has extensive experience leading organizational transformations, driving large scale growth, talent acquisition, leadership development, and succession planning. Prior to her current role, she was the HR leader and business partner to the Engineering leadership team helping oversee its workforce of more than 25,000 people. She has also held leadership positions in the Service Provider, HR Operations, Customer Service, Acquisition Integration and Services groups.

Prior to Cisco, Katsoudas worked in both the financial and professional services industries with a focus on customer service and operations. 

Fran is a member of the Americares Board of Directors. 

TK Keanini
Distinguished Engineer, Advanced Threat Solutions - Cisco

TK Keanini brings more than 25 years of network and security experience to his role as Distinguished Engineer within Cisco’s Security Business Group, where he uses his expertise in analytics to build a unified security architecture that enables customers to adapt and respond to ever-evolving threats.  In 2017, TK and team were awarded the prestigious Cisco Pioneer Award recognizing their innovative work on Encrypted Traffic Analytics.

Prior to joining Cisco, TK served as CTO for Lancope where he and his team built the award-winning Stealthwatch™ product line. Before joining Lancope, he was CTO at nCircle, driving product innovation that defined the vulnerability management and configuration compliance market. 

TK is a founding member of many security standards such as CVE and remains active in standard bodies that promote multi-vendor interoperability. As a highly regarded industry expert, his opinions and expertise have been featured in publications including Information Week, Federal Computer Week, Forbes, CNET News and CIO. TK is a frequent speaker at industry forums such as the RSA Conference, SANS Network Security, Security B-Sides, GFIRST and Cisco Live.