John Chambers was on Charlie Rose PBS TV show last Thursday. John Chambers is Chairman and CEO of Cisco. He has helped grow the company from $70 million, when he joined Cisco in January 1991, to $1.2 billion, when he assumed the role of CEO, to its current run rate of $40 billion.
Chambers has received numerous awards for his leadership over his past 16 years at the helm of Cisco, including Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People," one of Barron's' "World's Best CEOs," the "Best Boss in America" by 20/20, one of BusinessWeek's "Top 25 Executives Worldwide," "CEO of the Year" by Chief Executive Magazine, the Business Council's "Award for Corporate Leadership," and "Best Investor Relations by a CEO" from Investor Relations Magazine three times.
He argues that firms must reinvent themselves each 5 to 6 years, or risk to be left behind: “It is true of people and it is also true for countries: you have to constant innovate." John mentioned that the best country to do business is Canada. “It really surprised me when I first realized that several years ago,” he said.
Our country has fewer regulations than the US. The education system is competitive (7th in the world) and the country has an intelligent immigration policy to attract the best and brightest—plus it is willing to partner with business to solve issues, create and maintain jobs at all government levels. Regulatory policy in Canada is much easier to get issues through. For Chambers, the US is regulatory-heavy.
Chambers personally met Prime Minister Stephen Harper in order to make further investments in Canada, such as solutions for education or healthcare. He also said that it is easier to do business in China than the USA. The Chinese government is making important progress in the development of a middle class. 55% of Cisco revenue comes from international markets.