John Morgridge of Portola, Calif., is chairman emeritus of Cisco Systems Inc. He joined Cisco in 1988 as president and CEO, and grew the company from $5 million to more than $1 billion in sales, and from 34 to more than 2,250 employees. In 1990, he took Cisco public, in 1995 was appointed chairman, and in November, 2006 he became chairman emeritus. During his tenure, Cisco has become the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, with more than $30 billion in annual revenues and some 54,500 employees in 77 countries.
Morgridge and his wife, Tashia, actively support a range of education, conservation, and human services initiatives. He serves on the boards of Business Executives for National Security, CARE, the Cisco Foundation, the Cisco Learning Institute, Interplast, the Nature Conservancy, TOSA Foundation, and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF).
The Morgridges have a long and distinguished record of support to the Wisconsin School of Business and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Evidence of their generosity can be seen throughout campus, from Morgridge Auditorium in Grainger Hall, to the lakefront, to the Red Gym, where the Morgridge Center for Public Service is now housed. In 2004, the couple gave the university $31 million to complete and renovate the Education Building. In April 2006, the Morgridges announced a $50 million gift to fund the building of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.
Morgridge was awarded the Wisconsin Distinguished Business Alumnus Award in 1991 and served on the Wisconsin School of Business Dean’s Advisory Board from 1987-1991. He received an honorary doctorate degree from UW-Madison in 1994. The Morgridges were both awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Wisconsin Alumni Association in 2005.