“This will be the first time in my lifetime I’m voting for a Democrat,” said John Chambers, executive chairman and former CEO of Cisco Systems, speaking today at Web Summit 2016 in Lisbon, Portugal. “I voted for Hillary Clinton. I’ve already voted,” he said to wild applause from thousands of attendees inside the MEO Arena.
Chambers declared his preference for U.S. president in response to the question, “Which candidate in the U.S. election is more likely to be more pro-digitization and supportive of that?,” posed by Izabella Kaminska of the Financial Times.
Chambers hung his head and paused to gather his thoughts before answering. “I’m a moderate Republican, which in the U.S. is an endangered species. I support both Democrats and Republicans on many issues. I’m more interested in where they stand on technology,” he explained before revealing his support for Clinton.
“I’m doing it because I think that [Clinton], better than anyone else that’s running for president, [has a digital strategy]. The U.S. is the only country in the world that does not have a digitization plan,” Chambers said, adding that nations like Japan, India, and Germany do.
“While the Internet race was led by the U.S. under President Clinton, her husband,” Chambers said, “I think Hillary has the best chance of getting America back on track. We haven’t had a pay raise in 15 years that’s stuck. And that’s why you see a lot of America angry.”
And in an apparent reference to Republican candidate Donald Trump, Chambers said, “We need a leader who is going to reunite us. I think our election has been brutal and all of us understand the negatives that go with that. I hope that the new leader, whoever they are, and I hope that it will be Hillary, will bring our country back to participation by all groups and will talk about how technology will enable not just 10 percent of our population, but all of our population.”
Chambers’ remarks about Clinton can be found at about 1:45:00 in the video below: