Cisco is the worldwide leader in IT, networking, and cybersecurity solutions. We help companies of all sizes transform how people connect, communicate, and collaborate.
The founders of Cisco Systems were Leonard Bosack and Sandra Lerner, a married couple (later divorced) who had met while students at Stanford University. After graduating in 1981, they worked at the school, directing the computer facilities of two different departments. Bosack found a way to link their respective computer networks using technology that other Stanford employees had devised in the 1970s. He and Lerner came to recognize that router technology, as it was called, could be adapted very profitably for large-scale use outside the university. In December 1984 the two founded Cisco Systems (originally written “cisco Systems”), taking the company name from the city of San Francisco. Stanford eventually licensed its proprietary software to Cisco.
In 1985 Cisco sold its first product, a network interface card for Digital Equipment Corporation’s computers. Its first big success, a router that served multiple network protocols, came the following year. In need of cash for expansion, the founders turned to a venture capital firm, Sequoia Capital. Sequoia took effective control of the company in late 1987 and installed John Morgridge as president and CEO in 1988. He managed ably but did not get along with the founders. In 1990, soon after Cisco sold its first shares of stock to the public, Lerner was ousted from the company, and Bosack subsequently quit.
Cisco enables people to make powerful connections-whether in business, education, philanthropy, or creativity. Cisco hardware, software, and service offerings are used to create the Internet solutions that make networks possible-providing easy access to information anywhere, at any time. Cisco has been leaders in the development of Internet Protocol (IP)-based networking technologies. Today, with more than 71,000 employees worldwide, this tradition of innovation continues with industry-leading products and solutions in the company’s core development areas of routing and switching, as well as in advanced technologies such as home networking, IP telephony, optical networking, security, storage area networking, and wireless technology. In addition to its products, Cisco provides a broad range of service offerings, including technical support and advanced services.