John Morgridge

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John Morgridge
John Philip Morgridge

1933 (age 87–88)
EducationUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison (BA)
Stanford Graduate School of Business (MBA)
Known forCEO of Cisco Systems (1988–1995)
Spouse(s)Tashia Frankfurth
RelativesCarrie Morgridge (daughter-in-law)

John P. Morgridge (born 1933)[2] is an American businessman who was the CEO and chairman of the board of Cisco Systems.[3]

Early life and education[]

Morgridge was born to L. D. Morgridge and Ruth Gordon Morgridge, who were both teachers and church members.[4][5] He has one brother, Dean L. Morgridge, and one sister, Barbara Morgridge.[5] He grew up in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, where he attended Wauwatosa East High School.[6] He worked part-time at jobs such as washing equipment in a sweet pea cannery, digging stone at the quarry in Lannon, washing walls in Milwaukee's Pabst Brewery, doing road construction on Highway 64, and working as a railroad brakeman.[6] In 1955, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison[1] and in 1957, he earned an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.[7]


After school, he worked for Stratus Computer and Honeywell Information Systems before serving as president and chief operating officer of GRiD Systems.[8] He joined Cisco in 1988, then a four-year-old company with 34 employees, as its second chief executive officer and chairman of the board.[6] He was replaced by John Chambers as CEO in 1995 and as chairman in 2006.[8][9] At his retirement in 2006, Cisco had 50,000 employees in 77 countries.[10]


In 2010, Morgridge and his wife donated $175 million to create the Fund for Wisconsin Scholars, an endowment which will provide grants to low-income students attending one of Wisconsin’s public colleges or universities.[11] Morgridge Family Foundation donated funds to Immanuel Lutheran School,[12] Mount Olive Lutheran Church,[13] and to several educational and volunteering organizations.

Looking back on his life, says John Morgridge, in addition to parents, church and school, "it's the community that helps form our moral compass. It's those attitudes that I've remembered through my entire lifetime. We've been very blessed with what this country has given us. And we intend, before we die, to give it back."[14]

Morgridge serves on several corporate and charity boards of directors, including the Nature Conservancy,[10] the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation,[8] and was a trustee of Stanford University (2002-2007)[15] where he teaches management at the Graduate School of Business.[8] Morgridge and his wife are among the group of American billionaires who have committed to give the majority of their wealth to the philanthropic causes and/or charities as part of The Giving Pledge.[16]

Personal life[]

Morgridge married his high school sweetheart, Tashia Frankfurth (now a special education teacher), great granddaughter of William Frankfurth, the co-founder of the German-English Academy, which is now known as the University School of Milwaukee.[17] They have an adult son and daughter, and a second son who died of leukemia.[11]

Morgridge was featured in the documentary film Something Ventured, which premiered in 2011.[18]

Honors and recognition[]

  • 1991, Wisconsin Distinguished Business Alumnus Award[19]
  • 1996, Stanford Graduate School of Business Arbuckle Award[20]
  • 2005, Distinguished Alumni Award from the Wisconsin Alumni Association[19]
  • 2007, Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement[21][22]
  • 2012, Regents’ Award for Distinguished Service to the University of Wisconsin System[23]
  • 2015, James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award[24]
  • 2017, TECH CORPS Leadership in Technology Award[25]


  1. ^ a b Forbes Billionaires: John Morgridge March 2013
  2. ^ Dun & Bradstreet Reference Book of Corporate Managements. 2003 ed. Dun & Bradstreet, 2003.
  3. ^ "John Morgridge". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-11-25.
  4. ^ L. Wayne Hicks. "Philanthropy is all in the family for the Morgridges". Denver Business Journal, August 1, 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Ruth Gordon Morgridge, 102". Cape Cod Times, November 18, 1997.
  6. ^ a b c Julie Sensat Waldren. "Where I’m From: Oprah, Frank Caliendo, Gene Wilder, Tony Romo. 30 celebrities remember growing up here". Milwaukee Magazine, August 25, 2008.Archived 2013-12-20 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Katie Pandes. "Former Cisco CEO John Morgridge to Give 2012 GSB Graduation Address". Stanford University, May 3, 2012.
  8. ^ a b c d Cisco website: John Morgridge biography retrieved September 10, 2013
  9. ^ Doerr, John (2009-04-30). "John Chambers". Time. Archived from the original on May 3, 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-13.
  10. ^ a b Academy of Achievement: "John Morgridge" Archived 2005-12-30 at the Wayback Machine retrieved September 10, 2013
  11. ^ a b The Capital Times (Madison): "Couple donates hundreds of millions to state causes" by TODD FINKELMEYER December 1, 2010
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-08-09. Retrieved 2014-08-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Trustees John Morgridge, Victoria Sant complete terms". Stanford Report. 17 October 2007. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  16. ^ Giving retrieved September 10, 2013
  17. ^ Madison Metropolitan School District: "Who are John and Tashia Morgridge?" retrieved September 23, 2012
  18. ^ Something Ventured: The Movie. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  19. ^ a b "John Morgridge Biography". Wisconsin School of Business.
  20. ^ "Former Cisco CEO John Morgridge to Give 2012 GSB Graduation Address". Stanford Business.
  21. ^ "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". American Academy of Achievement.
  22. ^ "2007 Summit Highlights: The Academy of Achievement's 46th annual International Achievement Summit".
  23. ^ "John and Tashia Morgridge honored by Regents for their distinguished service to UW System". University of Wisconsin System.
  24. ^ "Philanthropic Power Couple John And Tashia Morgridge To Receive 2015 James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award At The Tech Awards". Medium: The Tech.
  25. ^ "TECH CORPS® Honors John P. Morgridge of Cisco Systems with Leadership in Technology Award". TECH CORPS®.

External links[]

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