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Cisco Systems, Inc.

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Cisco Systems, Inc. is a leading networking company best known as a manufacturer and vendor of networking equipment. The company also provides software and offers related services. Over its history, Cisco has focused on Internet Protocol (IP)-based networking technologies, routing and switching products and technology for home networking, IP telephony, optical networking, security, storage area networking and wireless technology. 

Sandy Lerner and her husband Len Bosack founded Cisco in 1984. At that time, Bosack managed the computers in Stanford University’s computer science department and Lerner did the same job at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Bosack and Kirk Lougheed developed Cisco’s first product, the AGS router, while still at Stanford.

Cisco’s valuation at its IPO (initial public offering) in February of 1990 was $244 million. According to Investopedia, $1,000 invested in Cisco stock at that time would be worth $461,600 today ($1,264,000 at the height of the dot-com bubble).

The name Cisco was derived from San Francisco, and Cisco’s logo is a graphic representation of the city’s Golden Gate Bridge. Corporate headquarters are in San Jose, California.

This was last updated in October 2016

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