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Cisco Systems

Each year, Cisco's success makes CEO John Chambers' challenge even greater: to make good on his pledge to keep the $24 billion networking behemoth growing at more than 12%, while maintaining the best margins for any hardware company on the planet. It would be an unprecedented feat, but Chambers has Cisco positioned in a host of promising markets, from voice-over-Internet-protocol phone systems to wireless home networks.

The result: So far, so good. Cisco has upped sales 12% through the first three quarters of its fiscal year, to $18.2 billion, with gross margins a mouth-watering 68.6% -- nearly twice that of IBM. The trick will be executing on so many fronts at once.

Company Info

Revenues* $24.1 BILLION
Revenue Growth 16.0%
Return on Equity 24.5%
Total Return-13.3%
Profits* $5.8 BILLION
All figures are for the most recent available 12 months.

* Latest available data for the 12-month period ended Dec. 31, Jan. 31, Feb. 29, Mar. 31, or Apr. 30. For companies that do not report quarterly, the most recent annual data were used.

Data provided by Standard & Poor's Compustat, BusinessWeek

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Company Snapshot

Cisco Systems, Inc. engages in the manufacture and sale of networking and communications products worldwide. The company provides a line of products for transporting data, voice, and video within buildings and across campuses. Its offerings include routing, which interconnects computer networks by moving data, voice, and video from one network to another; switching, which is used in buildings and campuses to build local-area networks (LAN), across cities to build metropolitan-area networks, and across various distances to build wide-area networks. The company’s technology products and services comprise home networking products, which enable users to share Internet access, printers, music, movies, and games; Internet protocol telephony products, for transmitting voice communications; optical networking products, which provide a path for telecommunications carriers, as well as for carriers and enterprises; and security products, which protects information systems from unauthorized use. It also offers storage networking products that deliver connectivity between servers and storage systems. These products incorporate network features, such as security, traffic management, virtualization, and tools. In addition, Cisco also offers wireless LAN and outdoor wireless bridging products. These products include access points, an integrated wireless and wireline switching system; wireless LAN client adapters; bridges; antennas; and accessories. Its products and services enable customers build their network infrastructures while providing tools to allow them to communicate with stakeholders, including customers, prospects, business partners, suppliers, and employees. The company’s products are installed at corporations, public institutions, telecommunication companies, and commercial businesses, as well as in personal residences. It offers its products and services primarily through its direct sales force, as well as through distributors and retail partners. Cisco has strategic alliances with AT&T Corp.; BearingPoint, Inc.; Bell South Corporation; Cap Gemini S.A.; Electronic Data Systems Corporation; Fujitsu, Ltd.; Hewlett-Packard Company; Intel Corporation; International Business Machines Corporation; Italtel SpA; Microsoft Corporation; Motorola, Inc.; SBC Communications, Inc.; and Sprint Corporation. Cisco Systems was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Son Jose, California.

No. of Employees


Data provided by Capital IQ
John T. Chambers

John T. Chambers

AGE: 55


Chief Executive Officer, President, Director and Chairman of Acquisition Committee

CEO Bio >

Total Compensation*


Total Value of Options**

$263.1 MILLION

Degrees Held

Indiana University - Bloomington (MBA), West Virginia University (JD), West Virginia University (BA/BS)

* Latest available fiscal year
** The sum of the net value of options exercised and held in the latest available fiscal year

Key Executives

John T. Chambers, Larry R. Carter, Mark Chandler, Charles H. Giancarlo, Richard J. Justice, Mario Mazzola, Randy Pond, Dennis D. Powell, Betsy Rafael, James Richardson

Board Members

Larry R. Carter, John T. Chambers, John P. Morgridge, Donald T. Valentine, James Gibbons, Carol A. Bartz, Jerry Yang, Steve West, James C. Morgan, John L. Hennessy, Roderick McGeary, M. Michele Burns, Richard M. Kovacevich

Data provided by Capital IQ
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