This woman quit Google to found an AI startup - now she's getting acquired by Cisco for $270 million

This woman quit Google to found an AI startup - now she's getting acquired by Cisco for $270 million

Amy Chang Accompany


Amy Chang is joining Cisco as part of a $270 million acquisition.

  • Cisco is acquiring the AI relationship intelligence company Accompany for $270 million.
  • CEO Amy Chang was on Cisco's board of directors and resigned on Tuesday.
  • Cisco will integrate some of Accompany's profiling tools into its existing products like Webex.

Cisco will acquire Accompany, an AI-based "relationship intelligence" tool, for $270 million, the company announced Tuesday.

The deal is notable not only for the technology it brings to Cisco but because the CEO Amy Change was on Cisco's board of directors. Cisco said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday that Chang notified the company of her intention to resign "effective immediately," in light of the acquisition.


The situation is likely to raise some eyebrows among investors. Accompany was last valued at $200 million, but that was three years ago, according to PitchBook data.

Chang will join Cisco as SVP of its collaboration technology group, which includes its video conferencing and messaging service Webex. Cisco said that it plans to integrate some of Accompany's technology into the Webex platform.

Chang founded Accompany in 2013 straight out of a role in Google's analytics group. The basic premise for the service is an app that makes it easy to prep for meetings. For all events scheduled on a calendar, the app compiles a digital dossiers of attendees and their companies.


The product was initially targeted at executives, who often rely on human assistants to gain insights into the people they are meeting with. But it also has the potential to help users anticipate personality differences, identify common interests, or find ideal meeting locations - all pulled from company profiles, social media, and news stories.

Accompany was even named in Business Insider's list of startups that will boom in 2018.

In her new role, Chang will replace Rowan Trollope, who is leaving Cisco to join the call center software company Five9. The acquisition is expected to close in summer.


Cisco's announcement comes hours after another acquisition deal for the company. Early Tuesday, Cisco announced its plans to sell its service provider video business to the private equity firm Permira.

Cisco, which bought the business from Permira for $5 billion in 2012, sold it back for just $1 billion, according to Bloomberg.

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