Artifact Details

Title

Cisco oral history panel : part one : John Morgridge and Don Valentine

Catalog Number

102739998

Type

Moving image

Date

2014-11-19

Participants

Dennis, Eric, Videographer
Hollar, John C., Moderator
Morgridge, John, Panelist
Valentine, Don, Panelist

Publisher

Computer History Museum

Place of Publication

Mountain View, California

Format

MOV

Copyright Holder

Computer History Museum

Description

This two-part joint oral history with John Morgridge (CEO) and Don Valentine (lead venture investor) offers a truly unique picture of how a fabulously successful company got its start. Although neither of these men were part of the initial startup of the company, they describe how that happened, the factors that Don Valentine, founder of Sequoia Capital, considered before making his initial investment, and the reasons for bringing John Morgridge in as the first true CEO.

The two then jointly tell the story of how Cisco attacked the market, the development of a company culture, the challenges of product development and competitive forces. They described how difficult decisions were made, how the company dealt with the forced exit of the founders, and so many of the other challenges faced by the company as it raced to $1B in revenue. This was not only an important monetary milestone, but it was also the target set by Morgridge when he first joined the company. Don related the interchange when John first came on board, “And John softly told me – and I didn't get it – he said, ‘I’m going to leave when we hit sales of a billion dollars’. And I thought to myself, you’ve got to be kidding me. I won’t live that long.” John left six years later when revenue hit $1.5B.

Its a fabulous story of success due to an exploding market and the clear and firm guidance of John and Don.

Category

Oral history

Subject

Cisco Systems; Internet; Router; Switch; Lerner, Sandy; Bosack, Len; 3Com; SynOptics; Cabletron; Wellfleet; Ethernet; Sequoia; Mazzola, Mario; Hancock, Ellen; TCP/IP; Chambers, John

Collection Title

Oral history collection

Series Title

Silicon Valley 360 : Cisco

Credit

Computer History Museum

Lot Number

X7309.2015