6. John Chambers, CEO, Cisco - Top IT Influencers
No other company has a similar impact on network infrastructure than Cisco and no other current executive in IT owns a similar level of confidence and trust with investors and analysts as John Chambers: His words move mountains in the IT industry. Chambers has led Cisco, which he joined in 1991, through several transformations, most notably through a reinvention of the company following the dotcom bust, shortly after Chambers was ready to build his own Cisco village in Silicon Valley. Chambers' recent bets on emerging technologies such as telepresence have not paid off yet, but he is armoring his company's traditional hardware business with software layers, which puts the company into direct competition with new rivals such as VMware and Microsoft, while he is also battling Chinese giants such as Huawei. He has shown several times that he can keep a giant like Cisco nimble enough to be able to react to market changes and even if there is speculation of possible CEO successors, it is Chambers who will be driving Cisco's fortunes in the foreseeable time.