Sandra Lerner bigraphy, stories - Founders

Sandra Lerner : biography

1955 -

Sandra "Sandy" Lerner (born 1955) was a co-founder of Cisco Systems with then boyfriend Leonard Bosack. After leaving Cisco, she founded Urban Decay cosmetics, and is an advocate of animal welfare.

Early life and career

She received her bachelor's degree in 1975 in political science from California State University, Chico, a master's degree in econometrics in 1977 from the Claremont Graduate School, and a master's degree in statistics and computer science in 1981 from Stanford University.

In 1984, Sandy Lerner co-founded Cisco Systems with her then boyfriend, and now ex-husband, Len Bosack, while working as Director of Computer Facilities for the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

It is widely reported that Lerner and Bosack designed the first router so that they could connect the incompatible computer systems of the Stanford offices they were working in so that they could send romantic love letters to each other. However, this was a manufactured corporate legend. In fact, both systems (SU-SCORE and SU-GSB) were TOPS-20 systems. The systems were the same and therefore obviously not incompatible, but the SU-GSB system was not on any network.

It has also been noted that the original router was designed and created by a group of people at Stanford, both students and faculty, rather than Lerner and Bosack alone.

Lerner and Bosack brought in John Morgridge to be the third CEO of Cisco in 1988. On August 28, 1990, Lerner was fired; upon hearing the news, Bosack resigned to show his support for her. The two sold all of their founder's stock and retired from Cisco.

After Cisco

Lerner placed a portion of her stock earnings into a start-up venture capital limited partnership called "& Capital Partners." Among the ventures funded was a new cosmetics company (1995) called Urban Decay Cosmetics, with the tag line "does pink make you puke?" In February 2000, Moet-Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), the French luxury goods conglomerate acquired the firm. It was spun off from LVMH in December 2002.

Lerner is now involved in a number of high-tech and philanthropic activities. In 1992, through the foundation she shares with Leonard Bosack, she invested money into the restoration of the manor house in the English county of Hampshire owned by Jane Austen's brother, Edward Austen Knight, Chawton House, making it a center for the study of English women's writing.

She started moving to Virginia in 1995. She primarily resides at her estate, Ayrshire Farm in Upperville, Virginia, that she acquired in 1996. The circa-1912, 42-room Edwardian-style mansion of native fieldstone has since been restored and is used for a variety of social functions under Lerner's direction. Ayrshire Farm's mission is to farm sustainably and profitably, promoting the benefits of locally produced, humanely-raised meats and organic produce to the consumer, the community, and children through education, outreach and example. The farm sells its products online and locally from The Home Store in Middleburg, Virginia.

Lerner also owns the Hunter's Head Tavern in Upperville, Virginia.

Pride and Prejudice Second Impressions San Francisco Chronicle

Lerner was featured in the documentary film Something Ventured, which premiered in 2011.

Lerner received honorary doctorates from Washington and Jefferson College, Goucher College University of Southampton in England and Shenandoah University.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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