Entrepreneurship | episode 480

John Chambers on Leading through Crisis

John Chambers is the former Chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems. During his 25+ years at Cisco, John drove explosive growth in the company from $70 million in revenue when he joined, to $47 billion when he stepped down as CEO. John is currently the founder and CEO of JC2 Ventures, a venture capital firm that helps disruptive startups from around the world build and scale. August 27, 2020

480: Former Cisco CEO John Chambers discusses:

  • John’s experience with previous financial crises 
  • The playbook he is running with his 18 startups through the current pandemic. 
  • Why John went into venture capital after his time at Cisco
  • Why John is partnering with 18 startups, rather than just one 
  • How the current crisis has impacted John’s investment theses. 
  • The playbook John ran when making acquisitions at Cisco
  • The successes and failures he has experienced with digital transformations
  • The impact COVID is going to have long-term including how 
    • COVID has and will continue to accelerate the shift to digital
    • Why the top ten companies in each industry will be shuffled, and
    • Why we won’t have an environment where everyone works from home

Among a variety of other topics.

This episode was recorded live at the 2020 Metis Strategy Digital Symposium.


This episode is sponsored by Zoho.

"Whether it is an acquisition I would make or a major bet I was about to make with the internal development, and then evolving the products, I do that jointly with key customers. That increases your success rate dramatically. It allows you to have your customer references in place as you roll out the products and it would tell you when you are doing things wrong and what you need to do right, which allows you to scale at a speed that others do not do."

The World Class IT principles in yellow were the focus of this interview

  • 01 1- People
  • 02 2- Infrastructure
  • 03 3- Project and Portfolio Management
  • 04 4- IT & Business Partnership
  • 05 5- External Partnerships

From strategy to implementation

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