John Morgridge was the 34th employee at Cisco Systems when he joined as President and CEO in 1988. Morgridge joined the company despite its notoriously toxic culture and revenue of only $5 million annually. By the time Morgridge concluded his tenure as CEO in 1995, he had grown sales to over $1 billion and 2,250 employees worldwide.
Morgridge transitioned to Chairman of the Board when John Chambers became CEO. During his term as Chairman, Cisco continued its meteoric rise to become the world leader in networking technology and grew to more than $25 billion in revenues and some 50,000 employees in 77 countries as of 2006. For a brief period in early 2000, at the height of the Internet bubble, Cisco was the most valuable company in the world, with a market cap of $500 billion.
Morgridge discusses his experiences and lessons learned at Cisco with Min Liu and Nir Eyal during this episode. He shares how he was able to pick the tiny start-up that would became Cisco and discusses the difficulty of having to ask the original founders of the company to step aside. He also discusses the personal sacrifices that he believes an executive must make to succeed.
Enjoy the interview and let us know what you think!
- Min Liu and Nir Eyal