Cisco boss talks about how he changed the world

cisco-ceo-john-chambers-my-dyslexia-is-a-weakness-and-a-strengthCisco’s former CEO John Chambers told the assembled throngs at  the 2017 annual shareholders meeting conference,  that his outfit changed the way the world worked.

Chambers, who was CEO between 1995 and 2015, announced last September that he would also step down from the chairmanship.

Chambers said the world had a perception that Cisco was merely a “router company” but it really was aiming big.

“When we outlined a vision, almost 27 years ago, we said this company can change the way the world literally works, lives, learns and plays”,  said Chambers.

“We had the courage to say that we can change the world and do it to the benefit of creating unprecedented opportunities for our shareholders, our customers, our employees and our partners. And we had the opportunity to really also establish a culture which is probably what I am most proud of.”

Chambers then congratulated current CEO Chuck Robbins on the smoothness of the transition into his leadership.

“This is often a transition that does not go well, especially in high tech,” he said. “I want to thank the board. It has been a joy. And very often people don’t realise a great company or leaders, everybody likes to write about the successes, but it’s really how you handle your challenges and your setbacks that determine if you’ve got a great company or not.”

Looking towards the future, Chambers said Cisco is going to be a company which leads in digitisation and will “once again continue to change the world.

“This company has the courage to dream big dreams like no one else, set audacious goals of being one or two in everything we do, build a team that is diverse and challenges each other and [is] not always in agreement, but once we decide to move, we move as one organisation,” said Chambers.

“Cisco will always be in my heart… I will move on to my next chapter in my life, which will be around start-ups and really generating jobs throughout the world,” he added.