Meet Padmasree Warrior, Cisco’s CTO [Video]

With a name like Mrs. Warrior you know she’s going to be a disruptive force. But after landing on Obama’s short-list for America’s CTO, she is now driving Cisco’s vision on how communication will evolve, how ideas will quickly become products and how collaboration will drive innovation. She’s down right inspirational.

Padmasree Warrior

JOB: Chief Technology Officer, Cisco
WHY YOU CARE: Because this woman can see the future–and you’re a big part of it


Let’s start with that name, which sounds more suited to a pop star than a chief technology officer. Awesome. Then there’s the fact that she was on Obama’s short list to be America’s CTO. Add that to her 23-year career at Motorola, where she did everything from manage the semiconductor division to lead a 26,000-engineer research and development group with a budget of $3.7 billion. Now she’s CTO for Cisco , where she’s been handed the simple task of figuring out how the world will communicate over the next few years and ensuring that her company is leading that push.

With Warrior–man, we really can’t get over that name–leading the charge, Cisco is betting heavily on video as the medium of the coming decade. After face-to-face conversation, Warrior says, “the most natural way for human beings to communicate is video.” But getting to a place where that’s our main mode of communication means more than simply increasing the world’s collective bandwidth. Warrior is focused on the connections that currently go unmade–between people, between the Internet and mobile devices, between what she calls the “islands of virtualization” in the technological world. Cisco’s future, she says, is in breaking down those barriers.

Of course, Warrior already has some experience in the barrier breaking department. Technology, whether at for a 10-person startup or a $40 billion multinational, is a male-dominated world.

But when you listen to her speak, you realize that Warrior’s background is just that: her background. In the foreground is her vision for how communication will evolve, how ideas will become products far more quickly and how collaboration will drive innovation. It’s downright inspiring–just watch:

Photo by Joi


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