1. Sandy Lerner

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  2. About Sandy Lerner

    Sandra "Sandy" Lerner was a co-founder of Cisco Systems (with then-husband Leonard Bosack). After leaving Cisco, she was a founder of Urban Decay cosmetics, and an advocate of animal rights.

    While supportive of limited animal rights - she forbids the local foxhunt in Virginia that used to cross over her estate to continue doing so - she started and continues to own, Hunter's Head Tavern in Upperville, Virginia which offers beef and poultry on the menu raised on her farm.

    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 cofounded Cisco Systems with her then-boyfriend, and later 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 [http://www.networkworld.com/supp/2006/anniversary/032706-routerman.html?t5][http://pdp10.nocrew.org/docs/cisco.html]. In fact, both systems (SU-SCORE and SU-GSB) were TOPS-20 systems. The problem was not that the systems were incompatible (obviously, being the same, they weren't) but that 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.[http://pdp10.nocrew.org/docs/cisco.html]

    Lerner and Bosack brought in John Morgridge to be the first CEO of Cisco. Later, 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.

    Sandy 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.

    Separately Ms. Lerner and a business partner, Diavd Soward, were successfully sued by an otherwise uncredited co-founder of Urban Decay in 1999, Patricia Holmes. Holmes v. Lerner, 74 Cal. App. 4th 442, 88 Cal. Rptr. 2d 130 (1999). A jury awarded Holmes over $1 million in compensatory and punitive damages from this case.

    She was the first person to ever pose nude for a financial magazine (Forbes 1997)

    Lerner is now involved in a number of high-tech and philanthropic activities."