Interview of Everything: Cisco CEO Chambers on white boxes, SDN, leadership and the cloud

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Outgoing Cisco CEO John Chambers says Internet of Everything starting to live up to its promise

Little did we know that our interview with John Chambers at Cisco’s Texas Data Center Day in April might be our last with him as the company’s CEO. As we learned this week, he’ll hand the reins to Chuck Robbins in July, though will remain the company’s chairman and become its executive chairman as well. He’ll also hand Robbins the challenge of making Cisco the No.1 IT company by forging ahead with its data center, cloud and Internet of Everything initiatives. Chambers discussed those topics and more with IDG Enterprise VP and Chief Content Officer John Gallant.

A while back you talked about your goal of becoming, I think the term you used was the most important IT company at that time (See “Chambers: Cisco will become the Number One IT company”).

No.1 is the way I defined it in terms of the importance to the customers. The No.1 IT company isn’t by volume, it’s in relation to business customers because those are my customers, not the consumer. Who do they view as their most important partner? That’s my definition of the No.1 IT company.

That was a big goal. Where do you stand?

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