Like all large things, there is always a point of a small origin. Cisco Systems was created by a married couple named Leonard Bosack and Sandra Lerner who worked as computer operations staff members at Stanford University in 1984; the two were later joined by Richard Troiano. Cisco is derived from the city of San Francisco.
Leonard and Sandra started designing and built routers in their own house and experimented using Stanford’s network. Initially, Leonard and Sandra took the proposal of building and selling routers on a commercial level to Stanford to help fund this idea, but they were rejected. After two years of developing networking equipment in Leonard’s and Sandra’s garage, they sold their first product in 1986. By the end of their first month of operations, Cisco had landed over $200,000 dollars worth of contracts.
In 1987, Bill Graves was appointed the first CEO of Cisco Systems, who only held the position for a year, followed by John Morgridge till 1995 and was succeeded in 1995 by John Chambers who is the current CEO of Cisco.
Even though Cisco was not the first company to develop and sell a router, it was one of very first to sell commercially with major amounts of success.
On February 16, 1990, Cisco went public and was listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange. On August 28, 1990, Sandra Lerner was fired; and upon hearing the news of his wife’s firing, Leonard sold off all of his founder’s stock and retired from Cisco.
Cisco today has a annual revenue of over $40 billion dollars per fiscal year and has become a standard in today’s commercialized and home networking equipment. Cisco’s headquarters is located in San Jose, California and currently employs over 70,000 people world wide. Cisco has also acquired a large number of different businesses.
Leonard has went onto other projects such as the creation of new in-line fiber optic amplification systems that can achieve unprecedented data transmission latency speeds of 6.071 milliseconds over 1231 kilometers of fiber; that’s like the distance between New York and Chicago. Sandra went on to co-found the company Urban Decay which sells cosmetic supplies.
Two people with an idea can change the world, in this case; Leonard and Sandra have changed the world by providing businesses a means of better communication and networking.