RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Speaking to shareholders and to Chuck Robbins, the CEO who replaced him two years ago, longtime Cisco chair and CEO john Chambers said goodbye to the tech giant on Monday.

His remarks, edited for length, as provided by business news website SeekingAlpha:

“It’s hard to believe, but in another month it will have been 27 years. And this is my 27th shareholder meeting. Several of you in the room I recognize which seat you sit in and how many times you have been here, 20 years, 14 years, 12 years and some of you brand new. But when we outlined a vision, almost 27 years ago, we said this company can change the way the world literally works, lives, learns and plays.

“[T]hat’s a router company, you really can’t do that, but the Internet did. And the number of employees we had might have fit in this intersection and the same thing is true with our shareholders and yet we had the courage to say that we can change the world and do it to the benefit of creating unprecedented opportunities for our shareholders, our customers, our employees and our partners. And we had the opportunity to really also establish a culture which is probably what I am most proud of.

“Today, I want to thank you as shareholders for allowing me to be part of your leadership team over the last 27 years. I want to thank Chuck and congratulate Chuck on the smoothness of the transition, because as all of you know shareholders, this is often a transition that does not go well, especially in high-tech. I want to thank the board. It has been a joy. …

Change the world

“When you look to our future and people say what do you think Cisco has in front of it? I think you are going to see a company that will lead in digitization and once again continue to change the world. …

“I think this company has the courage to dream big dreams like no one else, sets audacious goals of being one or two in everything we do, build a team that is diverse and challenges each other and not always an agreement, but once we decide to move, we move as one organization. So, it has truly been a joy, one that I hope that I continue to give back. Cisco will always be in my heart and Chuck, I will move on to my next chapter in my life, which would be around startups and really generating jobs throughout the world …

“It’s been a joy and to all of you in the audience it’s been a wonderful 27 years. Thank you.”

Cisco operates one of its largest corporate campuses in RTP.