Cisco's Chambers Rules Out Political Bid

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- With political outsiders running hot in the current Presidential elections, former Cisco CEO John Chambers might seem like a natural choice for a political bid himself.

Chambers, who currently serves as Cisco's executive chairman, is no stranger to politics. He co-chaired John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign. So will he run himself?

"I thought about it ten years ago, but I decided not to. I love business too much," Chambers tells Light Reading. He says he would have run for state governorship, and then sought a Cabinet post. But he decided against it.

Instead, Chambers is using his role as executive chairman at Cisco to work with governments and business on using technology to change the world. "That's what I love doing," he said.

Chambers describes himself as a moderate Republican who works closely with Democrats, and noted that that particular political breed is having a tough time in the party.

Which is not to say Chambers doesn't have political views. At executive briefings with Cisco executives here Tuesday, Chambers made a short, tangential, but passionate pitch for the US to develop a national technology business policy.

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"During the 1990s this country led in the Internet age," Chambers said, crediting President Clinton -- from "the other party" -- with a leadership role, helping create value and jobs.

"We are not leading in this digital era," Chambers said. "We are not going with a policy of broadband to every American." The US needs to create an environment that feeds startups and creates a new workforce, as "every other country" has done, he said, naming the UK, Israel, Italy, China and India as examples.

"The US is behind on this one and it's something we've got to move much faster on," Chambers said.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to [email protected]

DanJones 10/7/2015 | 6:02:00 PM
Re: hmmmm And his hair isn't weird enough!
Mitch Wagner 10/6/2015 | 11:31:28 PM
Re: hmmmm He seemed pretty firm to me. 

Doesn't preclude a change of mind, of course.

A year or two ago I thought he might be too old, but (a) he's a dynamo and (b) considering the ages of a few of the other candidates, maybe he's too young.

He's disqualified on the grounds that he's run a successful business. 
DHagar 10/6/2015 | 9:43:41 PM
Re: hmmmmm Dan, I agree that he would not make it to the nomination in this go around - they seem to want more extremes.

Listen, I am with you on that debate - that would be an unbeatable matchup!
DHagar 10/6/2015 | 9:39:47 PM
Re: hmmmmm Steve, interesting idea as a teaser.  I don't think Fiorina will last, primarily because of her record at HP.  Maybe he is playing his cards to position himself for a future run.  If the economy keeps stalling, his view of technology as economic development could fly.
DanJones 10/6/2015 | 7:45:23 PM
Re: hmmmm He would never win the GOP nomination as a moderate, business and science-focused republican anyway.

But man, I would've paid good money to see Chambers debate Trump on national TV. The thing you never knew you wanted to see that won't ever happen.
Steve Saunders 10/6/2015 | 5:41:46 PM
hmmmm is this one of those denials that actually means "I will absolutely run when i feel like it" 

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