As chief executive of Cisco, John Chambers has made the Internet-systems company one of the best in the world. John, 58, has grown the firm from $1.2 billion in annual revenue when he took over as CEO in 1995 to its current run rate of $40 billion. But his true legacy will be molding it into one of the best for the world.
Videoconferencing fails to adequately describe Cisco's latest innovation, TelePresence. The lifelike virtual-meeting system is almost better than being thereespecially when you consider the time, money and carbon emissions saved by cutting back on travel. The 500 units sold since 2006 are in 95 cities worldwide, and most multinationals will soon own one. And Cisco is serving more than global leaders and businessesit is also connecting families and communities. TelePresence terminals have been set up at Wal-Marts and U.S. military bases in Iraq so American soldiers can speak to and see loved ones.
A consummate communicator, John talks most about education. Over the past decade, Cisco's Networking Academies have taught critical IT skills to more than 2.5 million students in 160 countries. These classes not only improve students' lives today but also prepare them to be the industry leaders of tomorrow. And when they are, they'll have the means to communicate too.
Doerr is a partner at the venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
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