Vinod Khosla's Cerent bought by Cisco for $6.9 Billion  

INDOlink Silicon Valley Bureau; Sept. 1, 1999

Vinod Khosla, 44, last week hit the news pages of The Wall Street Journal when Cerent Corp., a telecommunications equipment start-up which he cofounded in 1996 was bought by Cisco Systems for 6.9 Billion dollars.

Son of an Indian Army officer, he had nurtured the ambition of launching companies since he was 15. After graduating from Indian Institute of Technology, he came quietly to this country for graduate studies at Carnegie-Mellon University. He later joined Stanford University for an MBA.

As he realized his dream in the Silicon Valley two decades ago, Khosla set up the Daisy Systems Corp., which manufactured computers and software for computer-aided engineering, The Journal said in its Aug. 27 editions.

Khosla not only fulfilled his dream, but helped build many multibillion dollar companies in the Silicon Valley, translating ideas into realities. The newspaper -- which described him as a `quiet man' who `puts sizzle' into the Silicon Valley -- said that Khosla helped establish Sun Microsystems whose workstations drove down prices and shook up the computing industry.

Khosla, currently a venture capitalist, is a partner with John Doerr and appears frequently on magazine covers for his achievements. As a partner in venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers, the newspaper said, he was the driving force behind the Cerent Corp. Kleiner Perkins had paid $8 million for a 30 percent stake in the company. Its share in the company now is worth $2 billion as a result of the deal. Khosla conceived Cerent in late 1996 and recruited engineers and served as its chief executive and later as chairman.

Cerent, according to The Journal, is only Khosla's second biggest hit of the summer. He was also instrumental in the setting up of Juniper Networks, another manufacturer of telecommunications gear, whose shares have skyrocketed since going public nearly three months ago, giving Kleiner Perkins $2 billion more stake from an even smaller initial investment.

An avowed risk-taker, Khosla was an initial supporter of Internet Portal Excite, acquired by the @Home Corp. about four months ago for $6.7 billion.

"I've the smartest people in the world educating me every day. The only thing I really do is filter and modify to arrive at my own opinions," The Journal quoted him as saying. It added, "Khosla is having a heck of a year."

The hobbies of Khosla, who has four children, are skydiving and hang-gliding.