John T. Chambers
John Thomas Chambers

(1949-08-23) August 23, 1949 (age 74)
EducationDuke University
West Virginia University (BS, BA, JD)
Indiana University, Bloomington (MBA)
Occupation(s)Executive Chairman, Cisco Systems
Political partyRepublican
SpouseElaine Chambers
AwardsPadma Bhushan 2019
WebsiteLinkedIn profile

John Thomas Chambers[1][2][3] (born August 23, 1949) is the former executive chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems.

Early life

President Aníbal Cavaco Silva of Portugal (left), Chambers (center), and Helder Antunes (right); 2011.

Chambers was born on August 23, 1949, in Cleveland, Ohio to John Tuner "Jack" and June Chambers.[4] His mother was a psychiatrist and his father was an obstetrician.[5] The family resided in Kanawha City, Charleston.[6]

When Chambers was nine years old, he was diagnosed with dyslexia.[7][8] Aided by a therapist, Chambers learned to cope with his disability.[6]


He holds a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degree in business and a Juris Doctor from West Virginia University and a master of business administration from Kelley School of Business.[9] Previously, he also attended the Edmund T. Pratt Jr. School of Engineering from 1967 to 1968.[10][11]


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.[12]

In 1995 Chambers became CEO of Cisco, a position he held until 2015. He had also been promoted to board chairman in 2006.[13] During his tenure as CEO, the company's annual sales grew from $1.9 billion[14] to $49.2 billion.[15] On July 27, 2015, Chuck Robbins replaced Chambers as CEO of Cisco Systems.[16] 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.[17] He holds the honorary title of Chairman Emeritus but holds no authority within the company.[18]

Chambers at the World Economic Forum (2007).

In early 2021, Chambers became a member of the board of directors of Quantum Metric, a software company based in Colorado Springs.[19]

John Chambers is chairman of the Board of Pensando.[20] Chambers served on the board of directors of myCFO.


Chambers and his wife Elaine have two children, Lindsay and John.[21]

Political contributions

Chambers has made political donations totaling over $180,000 to the Democratic Party and over $1,000,000 to the Republican Party.[22] He served as a co-chair in Republican John McCain's 2008 presidential bid.[23]

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.[24]

West Virginia University

On November 9, 2018, the College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University was renamed the John Chambers College of Business and Economics.[25]


Chambers has received various awards and honors for corporate philanthropy.


Published books by Chambers

Chambers has sofar published one book about his management and leadership style.


  1. ^ "RESUME: John Thomas Chambers". Business Week. 1999. Archived from the original on January 18, 2000. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  2. ^ Schofield, Jack (April 19, 2000). "Cisco kids ride high". The Guardian. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  3. ^ Serwer, Andy (May 15, 2000). "There's Something About Cisco Cisco has an expensive stock and agile competitors. But this company has beaten every challenge it's faced. Here's an inside look at CEO John Chambers and the corporate machine he's created". Fortune. CNN. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  4. ^ John T Chambers at Reference for Business
  5. ^ "Duke Pratt School of Engineering". 14 March 2012.
  6. ^ a b Waters, John K. (February 2002). John Chambers and the Cisco Way. Wiley. ISBN 0471008338.
  7. ^ Gallo, Carmine (11 October 2006). "How Cisco's CEO Works the Crowd". Bloomberg. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  8. ^ USA Today
  9. ^ Cisco CEO Bio
  10. ^ SAE Alumni Directory. Evanston, IL. 2018.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  11. ^ News Releases, Feature Stories and Profiles about Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering
  12. ^ Fisher, Lawrence M. (2000-02-09). "Cisco's Revenue and Profit Soar, as Do Its Shares After Hours". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
  13. ^, Cisco
  14. ^ "CISCO SYSTEMS INC - 10-K Annual Report - 10/26/1995". Retrieved 2022-09-16.
  15. ^ Cisco (2015). "Cisco annual report 2015" (PDF).
  16. ^ "Cisco enters new era after John Chambers steps down".
  17. ^ "JOHN T CHAMBERS Insider Trading Overview". Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  18. ^ "Cisco chairman John Chambers has resigned and will move on to the 'next chapter' in his career". Business Insider.
  19. ^ "Quantum Metric Adds Tech Visionary John Chambers to Board of Directors". Retrieved 2021-05-14.
  20. ^ "Pensando team".
  21. ^ John Chambers, President and CEO, Cisco Systems Archived 2009-02-16 at the Wayback Machine MIT Industrial Liaison Program
  22. ^ John Chambers contributions Archived 2008-11-10 at the Wayback Machine at NewsMeat
  23. ^ How Cisco's CEO John Chambers is Turning the Tech Giant Socialist Fast Company, December 2008
  24. ^ "Our Commissioners". Archived from the original on 2020-08-06. Retrieved 2016-03-28.
  25. ^ "WVU Today | MEDIA KIT: Former Cisco CEO and Chairman to help WVU support start-ups and entrepreneurship; business school renamed John Chambers College of Business and Economics". 5 November 2018.
  26. ^ "2009 Pioneer Business Leader". SVEF. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  27. ^ "Bower Award for Business Leadership". Franklin Institute. 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-06-26. Retrieved 2013-04-07.
  28. ^ "The Best-Performing CEOs in the World". Harvard Business Review. Retrieved 2015-10-16.
  29. ^ Chambers, John (April 26, 2016). "Reflecting on the Edison Awards: Why It's Important to Dream Big".
  30. ^ "Summary of Compensation". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  31. ^ a b c "Summary of Compensation". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved 2013-10-02.
  32. ^ "CEO Compensation for John T. Chambers (2009)". Equilar. Archived from the original on 2010-01-24. Retrieved 2010-04-06.
  33. ^ "CEO Compensation for John T. Chambers (2008)". Equilar. Archived from the original on 2009-04-17. Retrieved 2009-05-13.
  34. ^ "CEO Compensation for John T. Chambers (2007)". Equilar. Archived from the original on 2009-04-17. Retrieved 2009-05-13.