Name: John Chambers
Title: Chairman/CEO, Cisco Systems
Age: 58
Years in Industry: 31
Years left in Industry: “From Cisco’s perspective… forever… We hope! Personally, I committed a minimum of 3-5 years to my Board.”
 


Why Him?
When Cisco bought cable set-top staple Scientific-Atlanta in early 2006, it seemed like yet another attempt to force “convergence” upon us all—whether we liked it or not. But with multiplatform now all the rage and consumers securely in control of their content destinies, Chambers’ forward-looking march into a converged world seems in retrospect an especially shrewd move. And now—despite heavy competition among several vendors vying to inject interactivity and mobility into the TV experience—Cisco is uniquely positioned through its size, reach and portfolio to fully exploit consumer trends turning the industry on its head. Chambers has been an evangelist of sorts, telling MSOs to go beyond their traditional roles and become “experience providers.” Many are listening. Some are not. But either way, Chambers’ “Connected Life” initiative is a bold attempt to create the first fully Web 2.0-ready experience that brings together entertainment and communications in unique ways. At the same time, he’s making deals to bring his vision into reality: In the first half of ’07, Cisco acquired 7 companies, including Broadware and WebEx. In addition to S-A, Cisco’s recent takeover of Linksys and Arroyo position the company in the home networking and entertainment industries. We can’t wait to see what’s next.  MG

 
 

I knew the cable industry was for me when: “The industry began to migrate into triple play – data/voice/video converged on a single network.”
The cable industry’s biggest challenge in 2008 is: “To continue to evolve services built  around data, voice and mobility that are easy to use and will provide a high level of customer satisfaction. Current and future competitors.”
Person I most admire in the cable industry and why: “Brian Roberts, Comcast CEO and Mike Lajoie, Time Warner Cable CTO because they helped me to make the decision to buy Scientific Atlanta.”
Favorite sports team: Duke Basketball
Favorite piece of tech: Cisco TelePresence System
The world would be a better place if: “Everyone had access to broadband and a strong education.”

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