The CEO of Cisco is the focus of stories in the current Fortune and in this month’s American Way magazine. (He’s also offered as a model in Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan’s new book Confronting Realities, which we excerpt in the Nov. 15 issue of CIO magazine.) John Chambers is an impressive and powerful guy, who has been alternately ballyhooed and maligned for his company’s rising and subsiding fortunes over the tumultuous recent years. He’s on the upswing now.
Fortune’s profile The Cisco Kid Rides Again says, “for longer than just about anyone, Chambers has been talking about how the world’s voice and data networks will converge into one big system.” The long article goes in depth into Chambers’ plans for the company to enter (and soon dominate) the telecom industry. Despite evidence that network convergence is probably on the way (see this CIO.com Analyst Report from last year, for example), Fortune is reluctant to jump on the bandwagon, saying “Back in the Internet bubble [we] couldn’t get enough of his grand visions. We hung on every word….” Once burned, twice shy, they say.
The American Airlines’ inflight magazine story, Chambers Law is much more openly admiring, and quotes Chambers saying, “It has been proven that in the United States, there is a direct, one-to-one correlation between the percentage of capital expenditures on information technology (IT) and productivity increases.” That’s a nice quote to put in your pocket.
By the way, happy 20th birthday to Cisco next week.