John Chambers, Former Cisco Systems CEO, Wins 2016 Edison Achievement Award


January 8, 2016

John Chambers, Executive Chairman and former CEO of Cisco Systems, has been tapped to receive the world’s leading innovation award, the Edison Achievement Award on April 21, 2016 in New York. This distinction serves to honor and identify business executives in any industry who have made a lasting impact through innovation. Over twenty years ago, Chambers took a Cisco whose net worth was only $70 million and built it into the biggest name in information technology. Today, the once small telecommunications company is now worth $47 billion and sits at number sixty on the Fortune 500.

Chambers gave the following statement regarding the honor:

“Thirty years ago, Cisco set out with the vision to change the way the world works, lives, plays and learns. The Edison Achievement Award, recognizes our positive contributions and how we are fostering innovation to truly change the world with our technology. I am extremely honored to be the 2016 recipient and it is a distinct privilege to be in the company of past recipients, who I consider some of the world’s most creative and innovative leaders.”


The Edison Achievement Award

The Edison Awards are given by Edison Universe, a non-profit organization focused on fostering innovation in youth through educational programs. Edison Universe also connects winning companies with students for internship or mentoring opportunities.


Judging Process

The Edison Awards themselves are given for fifteen categories, including applied technology, electronics and computers, and material science. Nominations are accepted and vetted by the Edison Award Steering Committee before finalists are narrowed down in each category. From there, the finalists are presented to a panel of over 3,000 senior business executives and academics who vote on the final gold, silver, and bronze winners.


Notable Winners

John Chambers joins an elite collection of visionaries and industry innovators with his reception of this award. Some past notable winners are:

  • Elon Musk — Tesla, SpaceX
  • Steve Jobs — Apple, Inc.
  • Yand Yuanqing — Lenovo
  • Ted Turner — Time Warner


John Chambers and Other Awards

After twenty years as the CEO of Cisco Systems, Chambers stepped down to give way to longtime Cisco salesman, Chuck Robbins. On July 26, 2015, Robbins was officially named the new CEO, and Chambers has moved to an executive chairman role.

Yet, with his career as a CEO behind him, the Edison Award is hardly his first honor. Chambers has earned a number of other significant recognitions and achievements along the way. These include the 2012 Bower Award for Business Leadership, Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, CEO of the Year by Chief Executive Magazine, and more. The list goes on.

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