Mike Volpi

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Michelangelo "Mike" Volpi
Mike Volpi.png
Venture Capitalist Mike Volpi
Residence California, USA
Alma mater Stanford University
Occupation Partner of Index Ventures

Michaelangelo "Mike" Volpi (born 13 December 1966) is best known for his leadership of Cisco Systems business development efforts as Chief Strategy Officer during the company’s prominent growth era, acquiring over 70 companies in less than five years.[1] He then became SVP of the Routing and Service Provider Technology Group, where he managed over 5,000 engineers; in early 2007 this was an $11 billion business for Cisco. He was considered the right-hand man and successor of CEO John Chambers. In 2007 he left Cisco and became EIR at Sequoia Capital. A few months later, he was appointed CEO of Joost. In 2009 he became General Partner at Index Ventures.

Early life[edit]

Volpi was born in Milan, Italy. When he was five, his family moved to Tokyo, Japan, where he lived until he moved to the United States in 1984. He earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering (1984-1988) and an MS in Manufacturing Systems Engineering (1988-1989) from Stanford University. and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business (1992-1994).[2]

Volpi began his career at Hewlett Packard's optoelectronics division in 1989 where he was both in engineering and in marketing.[1] While at HP, he met his future wife Toni C. Cupal.[3] He returned to Stanford for an M.B.A. from the Graduate School of Business (1992-1994).[2]


Volpi joined Cisco Systems in 1994 in the nascent business development group. He was promoted to leading acquisitions at Cisco starting in April 1996. As Chief Strategy Officer for the company he led corporate strategy, business development, and strategic alliances. During his tenure, he and his team were responsible for the acquisition of over 70 companies in 7 years, including a nearly $7B acquisition of Scientific Atlanta.[4] Their acquisition strategy is widely regarded as a model for tech mergers and acquisitions.[5] In 1999, he was named to the MIT Technology Review TR100 as one of the top 100 innovators in the world under the age of 35.[6] he was promoted to the chief strategy office working for CEO John Chambers until 2000. Some press speculated he was heir apparent to Chambers.[7][8]

Moving into an operational role as a senior vice president and general manager, he led the routing and switching teams, then co-led the routing and service provider group with Prem Jain until 2007.[9] During this time Cisco's first Carrier Routing System product was announced, the CRS-1, in 2004.[10]

From 2007 until 2009, Volpi was CEO of Joost,[8][11][12][13] an Internet startup focused on online TV which was founded by Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis.[14] In September 2009, a lawsuit was filed against Volpi by Skype’s founders in conjunction with the proposed divestiture of Skype from eBay.[15] The lawsuit was dropped in November 2009.[16]

Index Ventures[edit]

At Index Ventures, Volpi invests in early-stage companies across the Internet, telecom, networking and media sectors.[12][17][18] He currently sits on the boards of Lookout, Path, SoundCloud, Big Switch Networks, Centrify, Hortonworks, Zuora, ElasticSearch, Fuzebox and Pure Storage. Volpi also contributes to the firm’s late stage growth fund through his investment in Sonos.


Volpi is an independent director of Exor (company) and was a board member of Swedish mobile giant Ericsson between 2010 and 2013.[19][20] In addition he previously served on the board(s) of Opsware (now HP),[21] TIBCO, Skype, StorSimple, Cloud.com and Clearwire.

Volpi currently serves on the board of Witness, a non-profit organization which uses video to open the eyes of the world to human rights violations.[22] He previously served on the Advisory Council for the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Personal life[edit]

Volpi is trilingual, and married with 2 children. His father is Vittorio Volpi, an executive at the United Bank of Switzerland.[3]


Network World: 1999 Power Issue – 25 Most Powerful People in Networking [23] Forbes Midas List: 2015 - World's Smartest Tech Investors[24]


  1. ^ a b Andy Reinhardt (August 25, 1997). "Michaelangelo Volpi Vice-president, business development Cisco Systems". Business Week. Retrieved June 2, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Mike Volpi". LinkedIn profile. Retrieved June 2, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Mike Volpi, nndb.com
  4. ^ Mike Volpi | CrunchBase Profile
  5. ^ Can Mike Volpi Make Cisco Sizzle Again? - Businessweek
  6. ^ "1999 Young Innovators Under 35". Technology Review. 1999. Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  7. ^ Kara Visits With Joost's Mike Volpi, Part 1 - Kara Swisher - News - AllThingsD
  8. ^ a b Mike Volpi's trek from Cisco to Joost - CNET News
  9. ^ Cisco veteran Volpi to step down - CNET News
  10. ^ "CRS-1: The Foundation for the Future of Communications". News release. May 25, 2004. Archived from the original on June 3, 2004. Retrieved June 2, 2013. 
  11. ^ Interview: Mike Volpi, Former Joost CEO, Now at Index Ventures - Kara Swisher - News - AllThingsD
  12. ^ a b Former Joost CEO Mike Volpi Jumps to Index Ventures — Tech News and Analysis
  13. ^ Mike Volpi Out As Joost Chairman - Business Insider
  14. ^ Joost taps Cisco VP Mike Volpi as CEO - Electronics Eetimes
  15. ^ Fowler, Geoffrey A. (21 September 2009). "Skype Founders File Another Suit in eBay Saga". The Wall Street Journal. 
  16. ^ Skype Lawsuit Settlement Details - Kara Swisher - News - AllThingsD
  17. ^ Index Ventures - Team
  18. ^ "Mike Volpi - News, Articles, Biography, Photos - WSJ.com". The Wall Street Journal. 
  19. ^ Two new members nominated to Board of Directors - Ericsson
  20. ^ Ericsson's Annual General Meeting 2013 - Ericsson
  21. ^ Opsware Inc. Adds Two New Independent Board Members; Noted Industry Leaders Mike Volpi and Mike Homer Elected to Board of Directors | Business Wire
  22. ^ Human Rights Videos | witness.org
  23. ^ Mike Volpi, 12/27/99, Network World
  24. ^ "The Midas List 2015". Forbes.com (Midas List). 25 March 2015. Retrieved 7 April 2015.