|Founded||San Francisco, California (1984)|
|Headquarters||San Jose, California, U.S.|
|Key people||John T. Chambers
(Chairman & CEO)
Cisco IOS and NX-OS Software
Interface and Module
Storage area networks
Wireless, Telepresence, VOIP, Security
List of Cisco Products
|Revenue||▼ US$36.117 billion (2009)|
|Operating income||▼ US$7.322 billion (2009)|
|Net income||▼ US$6.134 billion (2009)|
|Total assets||▲ US$68.128 billion (2009)|
|Total equity||▲ US$38.647 billion (2009)|
|Employees||63,756 (October 2009)|
|Subsidiaries||List of acquisitions|
Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO, SEHK: 4333) is an American multinational corporation that designs and sells consumer electronics, networking and communications technology and services. Headquartered in San Jose, California, Cisco has more than 65,000 employees and annual revenue of US$36.11 billion as of 2009. The stock was added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average on June 8, 2009, and is also included in the S&P 500 Index the Russell 1000 Index, NASDAQ100 Index and the Russell 1000 Growth Stock Index.
Len Bosack and Sandy Lerner, a married couple who worked as computer operations staff at Stanford University, later joined by Richard Troiano, founded Cisco Systems in 1984. Lerner moved on to direct computer services at Schlumberger, moving full time to Cisco in 1987. The name "Cisco" was derived from the city name, San Francisco, which is why the company's engineers insisted on using the lower case "cisco" in the early days. For Cisco's first product, Bosack adapted multiple-protocol router software originally written some years before by William Yeager, another Stanford employee who later joined Sun Microsystems. The company's first CEO was Bill Graves, who held the position from 1987 to 1988. In 1988, John Morgridge was appointed CEO, and was succeeded in 1995 by John Chambers.
While Cisco was not the first company to develop and sell a router, it was one of the first to sell commercially successful routers supporting multiple network protocols. As the Internet Protocol (IP) became widely adopted, the importance of multi-protocol routing declined. Today, Cisco's largest routers are primarily used to deliver IP packets.
In 1990, the company was listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Lerner was fired; as a result Bosack quit after receiving $200 million. Most of those profits were given to charities and the two later divorced.
The company filed for a U.S. trademark of "Cisco" on June 13, 1988, and it was granted on June 6, 1989. Related to the original inspiration for the Cisco name was an early registered mark of a suspension bridge that is synonymous with San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. The company's first indicated commercial use of the stylized bridge was May 18, 1986. This classic Cisco image rendition was first used on product packaging and products. In their trademark filing to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the mark is described as, "stylized two-tower suspension bridge similar to a script letter "U" with lines extending form the "U" to a bottom line in the manner of cables holding up a roadway." The image combines both elements of Cisco's gateway and bridge electrical products that interconnect local area networks and also a representation of the Bay Area's landmark bridge.
Cisco acquired a variety of companies to bring in products and talent into the company. Several acquisitions, such as Stratacom, were the biggest deals in the industry when they occurred. During the Internet boom in 1999, the company acquired Cerent Corporation, a start-up company located in Petaluma, California, for about US$7 billion. It was the most expensive acquisition made by Cisco to date, and only the acquisition of Scientific-Atlanta has been larger. Several acquired companies have grown into $1Bn+ business units for Cisco, including LAN switching, Enterprise Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP), and home networking. Cisco acquired Linksys in 2003.
In late March 2000, at the height of the dot-com boom, Cisco was the most valuable company in the world, with a market capitalization of more than US$500 billion. In July 2009, with a market cap of about US$108.03 billion, it is still one of the most valuable companies. CSCO was voted stock of the decade on NASDAQ, but no one knows when.
The company was a 2002-03 recipient of the Ron Brown Award, a U.S. presidential honor to recognize companies "for the exemplary quality of their relationships with employees and communities".
Cisco became a major provider of Voice over IP to enterprises, and is now moving into the home user market through its acquisitions of Scientific Atlanta and Linksys. Scientific Atlanta provides VoIP equipment to cable service providers such as Time Warner, Cablevision, Rogers Communications, UPC, and others; Linksys has partnered with companies such as Skype and Yahoo to integrate consumer VoIP services with wireless and cordless phones.
Cisco Systems also sponsors a line of IT Professional certifications for Cisco products. There are five levels of certification: Entry, Associate, Professional, Expert, and recently Architect, as well as seven different paths, Routing & Switching, Design, Network Security, Service Provider, Storage Networking, Voice, and Wireless.
Cisco has been criticized for its involvement in censorship in the People's Republic of China. According to author Ethan Gutmann, Cisco and other telecommunications equipment providers supplied the Chinese government with surveillance and Internet infrastructure equipment that is used to block Internet websites and track Chinese on-line activities. Cisco says that it does not customize or develop specialized or unique filtering capabilities to enable governments to block access to information and that it sells the same equipment in China as it sells worldwide.
Wired News had uncovered a leaked, confidential Cisco powerpoint presentation that details the commercial opportunities of the Golden Shield Project of Internet control. In her article, journalist Sarah Stirland accuses Cisco of marketing its technology "specifically as a tool of repression."
On August 18, 2006 Cisco reached a settlement in a long-standing class action lawsuit that originated in 2001. "The original suit, filed April 20, 2001, claimed that the company made misleading statements, or omitted statements of material fact, that were relied on by purchasers of Cisco stock. It also alleged that the individual defendants sold Cisco stock while in possession of material, non-public information. Cisco denied all allegations in the suit." While Cisco denies all wrongdoing in the suit, it agreed to settle with the plaintiffs. Cisco's liability insurers, its directors, and officers paid the plaintiffs US$91.75 million to settle the suit.
On October 16, 2007, the Brazilian Federal Police and Brazilian Receita Federal (equivalent to the American IRS) under the "Persona Operation" uncovered an alleged tax fraud scheme employed by Cisco Systems since 2002 that exempted the company from paying over R$1.5 billion (US$824 million) in taxes.
On December 1, 2008, Multiven filed an antitrust lawsuit against Cisco Systems, Inc. in an effort to open up the network maintenance services marketplace for Cisco equipment, promote competition and ensure consumer choice and value. Multiven’s complaint alleges that Cisco harmed Multiven and consumers by bundling and tying bug fixes/patches and updates for its operating system software to its maintenance services (SMARTnet) and through a series of other illegal exclusionary and anticompetitive acts designed to maintain Cisco’s alleged monopoly in the network maintenance services market for Cisco networking equipment.
On December 11, 2008, the Free Software Foundation filed suit against Cisco (see FSF vs. Cisco) regarding Cisco's failure to comply with the GPL and LGPL license models and make the applicable source code publicly available. On May 20, 2009, Cisco settled this lawsuit by complying with FSF licensing terms and making a monetary contribution to the FSF.
|Dow Jones Industrial Average component
June 8, 2009–present