Peter Solvik's role as CIO can be summed up as a critical visionary maverick. He has the ability to see potential problems and opportunities and apply unconventional wisdom. In 1999, Solvik's first year at Cisco, he noticed inefficiencies in the reporting structure of the IT department. He also recognized the deficiencies in the company's current systems. He was able to address and change the reporting structure to a more customer focused, client funded department reporting through the Senior Vice President of Customer Advocacy. Even though he recognized the current systems inability to scale, he was unable to address it in time. The company's demands on the system caused it to fail dramatically in 1994. Slovik and his team performed two amazing feats in replacing the system. First, they proposed the largest IT project in the company's history. Second, they completed the project on time and within budget. The project would cost $15 million and was slated to be completed in an aggressive 9 month timeframe. The successful project completion created the centerpiece for a two-year $100 million series of initiatives to replace every piece of technology in the company. .
Slovik's vision extended past the walls of Cisco and into cyberspace. His desire for Cisco to be "The Internet Experts" took Cisco from a $500 million to $20 billion company in his eight year reign as CIO. He recognized the power of e-commerce and harnessed it by continually defining the next generation of internet applications. Slovik is truly gifted. He has the foresight to recognize problems and opportunities, and the leadership to conquer the tasks presented to him.