• unknown (b.)


A co-founder of Cisco Systems (with then husband Leonard Bosack) in 1984, she received her Bachelor's Degree in 1975 in Political Science from California State University, Chico, a Master's Degree in Econometrics in 1977 from the Claremont Graduate School, and a Master's Degree in Statistics and Computer Science in 1981 from Stanford University. She co-founded Cisco Systems while working as Director of Computer Facilities for the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. She and Bosack designed the first router so that they could connect the incompatible computer systems of the Stanford offices they were working in. Both systems (SU-SCORE and SU-GSB) were TOPS-20 systems. The problem was not that the systems were incompatible (obviously, being the same, they were not), but that the SU-GSB system was not on any network. It has been noted that she and Bosack co-designed the original router with a group of people at Stanford (both students and faculty. They ran network cables between the buildings and connected them first with bridges and then routers. The router was really an updated IMP, which would transmit only the traffic that was meant to get out and accept only the traffic that was meant to get in. She and Bosack designed and built routers in their house and experimented using Stanford's network. When word got out about their routers, other universities and research centers asked to buy them. They went to Stanford with a proposition to start building and selling the routers, but the school refused. They knew they had something worthwhile, so they founded their own company and named it "Cisco," taken from the name of the city to the north. Their house became company headquarters and every room was used for building, testing, manufacturing, or shipping. The company produced revolutionary technology such as the first multiport router-specific line cards and sophisticated routing protocols, giving them domination over the market-place. They had no capital, so they charged all the startup costs on their credit cards. However, even without a real sales staff, they started to make a profit very quickly. When they were pulling in hundreds of thousands of dollars every month, they decided it was time to act like a real business, and they needed help recreating their company. They went to several venture capitalists and made their pitch, but all refused until the 77th. In 1990, however, she was fired by the professional managers who the firm's venture capitalists brought in. Upon hearing the news, Bosack resigned to show his support for her. That same year, Cisco went public and they walked away from Cisco with $170 million. The two sold all of their founder's stock and retired from Cisco. She is now involved in a number of high-tech and philanthropic activities. She received honorary doctorates from Washington and Jefferson College, Goucher College University of Southampton in England and Shenandoah University. She was featured in the documentary film Something Ventured which premiered in 2011.
  • Gender:

  • Noted For:

    Co-designer of the first router at Stanford offices to connect the computer systems SU-SCORE and SU-GSB and Co-founder of Cisco Systems
  • Category of Achievement:

  • More Info: