John Kern is Senior Vice President of Supply Chain Operations at Cisco. He leads a global organization responsible for accelerating innovation, enabling profitable growth, and delivering an unrivaled customer experience. His functional accountabilities include new product introduction, product lifecycle management, sourcing and supplier management, planning, manufacturing, logistics, and quality. He is also the executive sponsor for Circular Economy at Cisco.
Since joining Cisco in 2003, Kern has held multiple leadership positions and led transformational change across the supply chain. He previously managed Product Operations, Supplier Management, and Quality Operations, the key interfaces between Cisco’s supply chain, product development teams, and global supply base. He helped shape and enable the organization’s digitization efforts and its commitment to building a diverse, inclusive workforce.
Recognizing the powerful role technology plays in today’s landscape, Kern is a proud sponsor of Cisco’s Circular Economy commitments to drive positive change for the environment, workers, and communities across the globe. Under his leadership, Cisco has earned the #1 ranking on Gartner’s Global Supply Chain Top 25 in 2020, 2021, and 2022.
Prior to Cisco, Kern worked in the networking and semiconductor industries, including seven years at Texas Instruments, in sales management and business development roles. He also served six years in the Army National Guard as a Field Artillery officer.
Kern is passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion, particularly as it relates to reducing gaps in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. He serves on the board at the nonprofit Krause Center for Innovation (KCI), a Bay Area learning center for K-12 teachers that emphasizes technology integration and STEM curriculum. He also represents Cisco on the Advisory Board at Howard University’s Center for Excellence in Supply Chain Management (CESCM), where he helps shape curriculum and create learning opportunities for the next generation of supply chain leaders.
Kern holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame.