Skip to Content

This Republican Tech Titan Did Not Vote for Donald Trump

Lisbon Web Summit 2016Lisbon Web Summit 2016
John Chambers, chairman of Cisco Systems Bloomberg Bloomberg via Getty Images

John Chambers, the executive chairman and former CEO of networking giant Cisco (CSCO), said that for the first time ever he had cast his vote for a Democrat.

Chambers, a Silicon Valley veteran who has long identified with the Republican party, spoke at Web Summit 2016, a tech conference, in Lisbon, Portugal. He surprised the audience when he revealed his newfound political preference.

“This will be the first time in my lifetime I’m voting for a Democrat,” Chambers told the audience, thousands of whom cheered at the revelation. “I’m going to vote for Hillary Clinton. I’ve already voted.”

Get Data Sheet, Fortune’s technology newsletter.

Chambers’ confession came in response to a question about which candidate he considered to be “more pro-digitization.”

At first Chambers laughed and cast his glance toward the ground. After he beat, he replied, “I’m a moderate Republican, which in the U.S. is an endangered species. I support both Democrats and Republicans on many issues. I’m more interested in where they are on technology.”

You can watch a video of the event here. (Skip to the 1:45:00 mark.)

Chambers went on to praise Clinton as having “the best chance of really getting America back on track” in terms of being a technology leader. He noted that “the Internet race was led by the U.S. under President Clinton, her husband.”

Chambers did not mention Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate by name. However, he did mention that he sought unity within America.

“We haven’t had a pay raise in 15 years that’s stuck,” Chambers said. “That’s why you see a lot of America angry.”

“We need a leader who is going to reunite us,” Chambers continued. “I think our election has been brutal and all of us understand the negatives that go with that. I hope that the new leader, whoever they are, and I hope that it will be Hillary, will bring our country back to participation by all groups and will talk about how technology will enable not just 10% of our population, but all of our population.”

“We’ll see if that happens or not,” he added.

Chambers echoed sentiments he had previously expressed on Fortune’s Unfiltered podcast. “America is at risk of being left behind,” he said then, promoting an upgrade for the nation’s digital infrastructure.

Much of Silicon Valley has come out in support of Clinton in recent months, with the notable exception of Peter Thiel, a libertarian investor who recently helped bankrupt the blog Gawker by funding a defamation lawsuit.

Now Chambers has joined the list.