Sheila G. Talton
Vice President, Globalization
Cisco Systems Inc., San Jose, Calif.

At the beginning of her 25-plus years in technology, Sheila G. Talton excelled at “looking at technology and its appropriate application to business” and quickly rose from trainee to sales manager and ultimately to general management. During that span, she spent 13 years as chairman and CEO of Unisource Network Services, a firm she established in Chicago, followed by senior positions at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and at EDS. She joined Cisco Systems Inc. in 2004 as vice president of Advisory Services within the Customer Advocacy Group and assumed her current position as vice president in the Office of Globalization in 2008. “I had worked to credential myself in the global arena, and with this position have been able to see the world as well as the development and execution of new technology that changes the way people operate in all aspects of life,” she remarks.

Talton’s role is part of Cisco’s focus on up-and-coming emerging markets. She identifies growth opportunities and recommends appropriate solutions and talent in each market. She has served on Cisco’s Emerging Country Council and its Emerging Countries Services Board, which assigned resources to execute country strategies. Eyeing opportunities for others, she co-founded the Customer Advocacy Group’s diversity initiative and joined the Corporate Diversity Council. She is a founding member of the Information Technology Senior Management Forum, a mentoring organization, and serves on its advisory board. The Forum presented her with its 2011 Diamond Leadership Award and the Anti-Defamation League named her among its 2010 “Women of Achievement.”

Talton has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and speech communications from Northern Illinois University and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program of Harvard Business School. To relax, she takes to the ski slopes or travels the world, iPad close by. Her next trip: Turkey, with her daughter Shannel.