John T. Chambers
John Thomas Chambers
August 23, 1949
West Virginia University (BS, BA, JD)
Indiana University, Bloomington (MBA)
|Occupation(s)||Executive Chairman, Cisco Systems|
|Awards||Padma Bhushan 2019|
John Thomas Chambers (born August 23, 1949) is the former executive chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems.
Chambers was born on August 23, 1949, in Cleveland, Ohio to John Tuner "Jack" and June Chambers. His mother was a psychiatrist and his father was an obstetrician. The family resided in Kanawha City, West Virginia.
When Chambers was nine years old, he was diagnosed with dyslexia. Aided by a therapist, Chambers learned to cope with his disability.
He holds a Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Arts degree in business and a J.D. degree from West Virginia University and a master of business administration degree in finance and management from Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. Previously, he also attended the School of Engineering at Duke University from 1967 to 1968, where he was a brother of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
After obtaining his MBA, Chambers began his career in technology sales at IBM 1976–1983 when he was 27 years old. At 34 years old, in 1983, Chambers joined Wang Laboratories, later becoming Vice President of US Operations in 1987. During Chambers' time at the company, Wang's profits declined dramatically from $2 billion 1989 to a $700 million loss in 1990. A year later, Chambers left Wang to join Cisco, which had gone public on February 16, 1990.
In 1995 Chambers became CEO of Cisco, a position he held until 2015. He had also been promoted to board chairman in 2006. During his tenure as CEO, the company's annual sales grew from $1.9 billion to $49.2 billion. On July 27, 2015, Chuck Robbins replaced Chambers as CEO of Cisco Systems. Following his tenure as CEO, Chambers remained on the board until 2017, when he retired from the company. In October 2016, he was reported to own over 1.7 million Cisco shares worth approximately US$54 million. He holds the honorary title of Chairman Emeritus but holds no authority within the company.
In early 2021, Chambers became a member of the board of directors of Quantum Metric, a software company based in Colorado Springs.
John Chambers is chairman of the Board of Pensando. Chambers served on the board of directors of myCFO.
Chambers and his wife Elaine have two children, Lindsay and John.
Chambers has made political donations totaling over $180,000 to the Democratic Party and over $1,000,000 to the Republican Party. He served as a co-chair in Republican John McCain's 2008 presidential bid.
Since 2010, Chambers has also served as a commissioner for the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, which leverages broadband technologies as a key enabler for social and economic development.
On November 9, 2018, the College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University was renamed the John Chambers College of Business and Economics.
Chambers has received various awards and honors for corporate philanthropy.
Chambers is mentioned in books about his management and leadership style.
He is the author of one book.