Cisco Systems, Inc. is a US-based telecommunications company. It is best known for its routers and switches, which are used by a substantial part of the Internet backbones.

Cisco was founded in December 1984 by a group of scientists (mainly Leonard Bosack and Sandy Lerner) of Stanford University near San Francisco. The aim was to simplify the networking of computers and to use them more effectively. In 1986, Cisco launched its first multi-protocol router — a mix of hardware and intelligent software that soon became the standard for networking platforms on the market.

Due to the Internet boom in the mid-1990s, the stock price on March 29, 1990 split-adjusted from $ 0.08 to March 30, 2000 increased by 96,637 percent to 77.31 dollars. With a stock market value of approximately $ 555 billion, Cisco Systems was briefly the most expensive company in the world for a short time.

For fiscal year 2008, Cisco generated record sales of $ 39.5 billion, with earnings of $ 8.1 billion. Cisco has been listed on the DJIA since June 8, 2009, and has been included in the most important index in the world. Cisco took the place of General Motors.

Logo of Linksys sold

Traditionally known only to corporate IT departments, the company sought to establish itself in the consumer market. An important step in this was in June 2003, the purchase of Linksys for $ 500 million - a leading manufacturer of home networking equipment. The separately owned brand Linksys should be given up in favor of Cisco in the future, since the latter has established itself well in the consumer market. In 2013, however, Cisco sold the home networking business Linksys to Belkin International, to focus on hardware and software for enterprises. In May 2013, the company acquired the Munich-based tech start-up JouleX for $ 107 million. Their cloud-based energy management solutions should help to capture and reduce the energy consumption of all devices running in a network.

In July 2015, John Chambers resigned as chief executive officer after 20 years and became executive chairman of the board. His successor was Chuck Robbins.

Name and logo

The name Cisco is derived from the last two syllables of the founding city of San Francisco. The company logo shows in the form of blue vertical bars a comb spectrum of a periodic signal reminiscent of the shape of the Golden Gate Bridge.


Since its inception, Cisco Systems has purchased and integrated more than 160 other companies.