Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

5 things you didn't know about Cisco's Warrior

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Meet Padmasree Warrior, executive at Cisco, world-leader in networking equipment
  • Hotly-tipped to be next boss of company, once CEO John Chambers retires
  • Indian-born executive is 57th Most Powerful Woman in the World, according to Forbes
  • Big on Twitter, with 1.4 million followers, including U.S. President Barack Obama

Editor's note: Leading Women connects you to extraordinary women of our time. Each month, we meet two women at the top of their field, exploring their careers, lives and ideas.

(CNN) -- Apart from having one of the coolest names in the tech industry, Padmasree Warrior stands out among Silicon Valley's big-wigs.

The Indian-born woman has been hotly-tipped as the next chief of the world's largest maker of data networking systems -- Cisco Systems -- the company behind everything from your computer's router to wireless access points.

She is currently Cisco's Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, an organization boasting an eye-watering $47 billion in revenue.

Mariah Carey on life and philanthropy
PR boss believes in taking risks
'Africa's Oprah' finds her own voice

As one of the most influential people working in the technology industry today, it's little wonder Forbes named Warrior the 57th most powerful woman in the world.

Here are five things you might not know about Warrior, who has also served on the board of Chicago's prestigious Joffrey Ballet.

She studied chemicals, not computers. Warrior received a degree in chemical engineering in Delhi, before continuing her studies in New York. The young graduate thought she'd eventually go back home to teach -- it wasn't to be.

Warrior took a job at telecommunications company Motorola in 1984, and later joined Cisco in 2007.

"I now run an internet technology company that has nothing to do with chemicals," she told CNN's Nina dos Santos. "At no point in life have I waited for the perfect job to show up... because there's no such thing."

She planned to stay at Motorola 12 months -- and left 23 years later. During her two decades at Motorola, Warrior rose to the ranks of executive vice president. While there, the company was awarded the prestigious 2004 National Medal of Technology and Innovation -- the first time in the organization's history.

In 2014, it's harder to keep up with new technology than ever before, says Warrior.

"I've been in the tech industry for almost 20 years, but I feel right now is probably the most significant time -- not only is the pace of change so fast, but the magnitude of change is huge."

Yes, she does log off -- and meditates. Just because you're leading one of the biggest computer equipment companies on the planet, doesn't mean you have to be constantly plugged-in.

At the end of each day, mother-of-one Warrior apparently turns off all her electronics and finds 20 minutes to meditate.

Sometimes when there's a door open you just have to push through and walk in
Padmasree Warrior

She's a Twitter pro. Warrior has a whopping 1.4 million Twitter followers, including U.S. President Barack Obama.

She gives followers an insight into her world outside of the office, posting images of her paintings, novels she's reading, and even her weekend fashion choices using the hashtag #warriorstyle.

This is the best career advice she's ever received: "I was a manager and really thinking about taking the next step to become a director. And I was hesitating, asking myself 'Is it too much responsibility?' My husband worked, and we had a young son at home, and I wasn't sure if I was ready to commit.

And my boss at the time, who was making me the offer, said: "You know, sometimes when there's a door open you just have to push through and walk in."

Read: Is your best career move abroad?

Inspire: TV president rewriting rules for the digital age

Debate: Is Sheryl Sandberg wrong on 'bossy' ban?

Lidz-Ama Appiah, CNN contributed to this piece.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1032 GMT (1832 HKT)
When it comes to buildings, they don't come much different than a mosque and a nightclub.
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1320 GMT (2120 HKT)
If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen -- or so the saying goes.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1533 GMT (2333 HKT)
These 12 fashion experts have millions of followers, but who is the most social woman in fashion?
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1507 GMT (2307 HKT)
Mindy Grossman has been the driving force behind making the Home Shopping Network both hip and profitable, but she still makes time for herself.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1318 GMT (2118 HKT)
Nelly Ben Hayoun speaking at NASA Ames research center
Nelly Ben Hayoun is on a mission to convince the world to take threats such as asteroid strikes more seriously.
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 0233 GMT (1033 HKT)
Shenan Chuang turned Ogilvy China into the world's third biggest ad agency, CNN's Kristie Lu Stout asks how she did it.
August 18, 2014 -- Updated 1045 GMT (1845 HKT)
Imagine a gadget that knows your mind better than you do.
August 5, 2014 -- Updated 1321 GMT (2121 HKT)
When your grandmother is one of the most famous cosmetics moguls in history, it might put a little pressure on you to succeed.
July 15, 2014 -- Updated 2041 GMT (0441 HKT)
bbf
When Bobbi Brown set out to create her eponymous makeup line in 1991, she had one thing to her mind -- to make a lipstick that looked like lips.
July 15, 2014 -- Updated 0914 GMT (1714 HKT)
The Cornell educated executive, who is hotly tipped as the successor to magnate Steve Wynn, is about to unveil the latest Wynn Palace in Macau.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1154 GMT (1954 HKT)
From Coco Chanel to DVF, CNN takes a look at celebrated fashion designers and the iconic pieces which launched their careers.
June 17, 2014 -- Updated 1349 GMT (2149 HKT)
2 Caption:Avignon, FRANCE: Serb artist Marina Abramovic performs in 'The Biography Remix' directed by Michael Laub from Netherlands, 10 July 2005 at the Benoix-XII house during the Theater Festival held in Avignon southern France. AFP PHOTO ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT (Photo credit should read ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images)
CNN meets Serbian-born New-York based performance artist Marina Abramovic, as she embarks on the most controversial show of her career.
June 10, 2014 -- Updated 1506 GMT (2306 HKT)
She turned her bohemian beach style and love of ballet shoes into a billion-dollar brand. This week on Leading Women, fashion designer Tory Burch reveals her ultimate style guru.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1623 GMT (0023 HKT)
Meet Mo Abudu, the talk show host portraying a very different Africa. As a glamorous presenter, she also heads up Ebony Life TV network, based in Nigeria.
ADVERTISEMENT