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About David Russell

I am at a stage in my career where I want to contribute to improving New Zealand. I want to 

use my experience and skill set to increase NZ prosperity by helping to grow high value, high 

growth, export companies. 

 

Career Summary 

My career spans twenty plus years in Silicon Valley California helping high technology 

companies grow fast to take advantage of market opportunities. I spent ten years in senior 

positions at Cisco Systems and Google responsible for general management, supply chain 

operations, new product introduction, and software product management. 

 

Career History 

2005-2011 Google, California 

I was hired by Google in 2005 to build and lead their data center supply chain team. 

●In 2005, Google was about to undergo a huge expansion in their data center capacity 

including the introduction of their own custom server and networking equipment. They 

needed a supply chain team to launch, scale, and manage the manufacture and delivery 

of this equipment. 

I created that team, which grew from 5 to 45 members, with annual spend increasing to 

US$1B/year. Although fully captured within Google, this is now one of the largest server/ 

networking manufacturing companies in the world. 

Functions added: planning, supplier management, test, quality, cost control and logistics. 

Moved local prototype production to high volume global contract manufacturers. 

Implemented Oracle Manufacturing and Product Lifecycle Management systems. 

Created a reseller team that sold obsolete equipment as it was replaced. 

 

I became interested in software product development, and at the start of 2010 took on 

responsibility for managing the development of internal tools for data center planning. These 

were multi-user work flow tools, that managed the planning, approval, and implementation of 

data center changes. Software development has become a major interest of mine. 

 

1993-2005 Cisco Systems, California 

I joined Cisco in 1993 as an individual contributor in production planning. When I left in 2005, I 

was running manufacturing operations for Cisco’s largest business unit. 

My key role with Cisco arose from Cisco’s 1995 acquisition of Grand Junction Networks, 

a startup that invented FastEthernet switching. I joined the new business unit as a 

Program Manager launching new products. I quickly progressed to manage all the PMs, 

then to lead the NPI team, then to manage all manufacturing for the business unit. 

For six years I was part of the senior management team that grew this business from 

sales of $300M/year to $4B/year, becoming the No1 player in this world market, with 

70% gross margins, and the largest business unit by sales at Cisco.

My operations team, which increased to around 50 people, were responsible for 

planning (with Marketing and Finance), supplier negotiation and management, new 

product introduction and product cost (with Engineering), and quality in factory and field. 

Unit growth of over 100% per year required continuous revision of our supply base, 

often requiring new suppliers in new regions of the world. While most assembly was 

eventually done in Asia, final configuration was often in North America and Europe. 

Key metrics were revenue, customer leadtime, on time shipment, 30-day return quality, 

inventory, product gross margin, and meeting new product launch targets. 

In 1999/2000 our business unit acquired Aironet , a manufacturer of wireless networking 

equipment. I was responsible for the integration of Aironet operations into Cisco, and the 

required ramp in those operations to meet growing wifi equipment demand. 

 

1989-1993 Advanced Micro Devices, California 

This was my first role out of business school and mixed accounting with cost saving projects. 

I learned my way around the global factory and logistics operations of a high tech company. 

The role involved financial planning, reporting, and cost management for semiconductor 

manufacturing factories in Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. 

 

1987-89 Graduate studies for MBA at the University of California Berkeley. 

 

1984-87 Fisher & Paykel Appliances (Refrigeration), Auckland 

I was among the first team of F&P engineers sent to Japan to learn lean production 

techniques.....the “Toyota Production System”. 

My role was to make factory changes, using lean techniques, that reduced inventory and 

improved cycle times, and met the requirements of new products. 

The F&P refrigerator business was at its peak in these days, with new designs winning 

awards, and expansion into new export markets. 

 

Education 

GradDip in Computer Science, University of Auckland, 2009 

MBA, University of California Berkeley, 1989 

BEng (Hons), University of Auckland, 1984 

 

Other 

Part of the turnaround team for Heath Ceramics, a commercial pottery in California. 

Heath, once a leading pottery had become rundown, and when new owners bought it, 

I volunteered to help them improve the efficiency of their production operations. Heath 

has now returned to being successful and profitable. 

I have traveled to over 40 countries in Europe, Africa, Central Asia, Asia, and North 

America for both business and pleasure.

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David Russell,
Apr 11, 2012, 3:01 PM
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