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
updated 6:45 AM EDT, Mon August 18, 2014
Imagine a gadget that knows your mind better than you do.
updated 9:21 AM EDT, Tue August 5, 2014
When your grandmother is one of the most famous cosmetics moguls in history, it might put a little pressure on you to succeed.
updated 4:41 PM EDT, Tue July 15, 2014
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.
updated 5:14 AM EDT, Tue July 15, 2014
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.
updated 7:54 AM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
From Coco Chanel to DVF, CNN takes a look at celebrated fashion designers and the iconic pieces which launched their careers.
updated 9:49 AM EDT, Tue June 17, 2014
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.
updated 11:06 AM EDT, Tue June 10, 2014
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.
updated 12:23 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
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.
updated 5:36 AM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
A lone blonde woman, wrapped in nothing but a sarong, leads four camels and a little dog across one of the most inhabitable environments on Earth.
updated 8:16 AM EDT, Fri April 11, 2014
Their job is capturing the most horrifying images on Earth -- keeping their eyes open, where others must look away. Meet Kate Brooks and Gerda Taro, the war photographers of today and yesterday.
updated 11:50 AM EST, Wed February 26, 2014
Former U.S. State Deparment Anne-Marie Slaughter says Brad Pitt is 'posterchild for engaged fatherhood'.
ADVERTISEMENT