Cisco Systems will acquire open source email and calendar software-maker PostPath for $215 million. Cisco VP Charles Carmel says the company will integrate PostPath, usually called an alternative to Microsoft's Exchange, with WebEx software, which Cisco acquired for $3.2 billion in March 2007. It's only big-spending Cisco's fourth buy of the year — for the networking giant, a tightening of the purse. There were zero tech IPOs last quarter and also relatively few major acquisitions. Which means PostPath investors Matrix Partners, Jafco Ventures and Worldview Technology Partners are no doubt gluttonously bathing in the schadenfreude this morning.
We hear Steve Wozniak — he's the Apple cofounder who doesn't rain expletives on reporters — is speaking at Cisco at 11:30. We're curious what he has to say. Update: A reader sent in the photo above, and another eyewitness wisecracked: "It's like they transferred all the fat from Jobs to Woz." Ouch! Even former Woz flame Kathy Griffin wasn't that harsh. Any other Cisco tipsters care to send more? Below, a clip from another Woz talk at Google last year:
As current Avaya CEO Lou D'Ambrosio steps down due to health related reasons, Charles Giancarlo will move from his role at Avaya's owner, private equity firm Silver Lake, to interim CEO. Industry watchers long expected Giancarlo to take the CEO's office — just not at Avaya. Word has it Cisco's John Chambers wanted Giancarlo to be his successor. When Giancarlo left Cisco in December 2007, Chambers told reporters: “Charlie’s been one of the very few leaders that I’ve lost out of Cisco when it wasn’t the right time to lose him."
I've always suspected vast swaths of Cisco, the boringly profitable networking giant, were stuck in the '90s. An exchange forwarded from an internal mailing list confirms it. First of all: forwarded from an internal mailing list. Haven't these people heard of wikis? Second of all: They're complaining about files being deleted from an internal FTP server. Hello, isn't storage supposed to be in the cloud? The email chain ends with equally dated complaints about misuse of the "reply all" button.
Microsoft employees have logged 2,605 days of riding their bikes to work, with an average commute of 19 miles in a day, since the start of the year in a contest sponsored by the Cascade Bicycle Education Foundation for organizations in the greater Seattle area. That's more than twice as many days and three times as many miles as Amazon.com employees, ranked eleventh behind even the lazy slackers who work in Seattle's municipal government and the academic wankers at the state university. How are Valley companies doing?
Yahoo director Ed Kozel is leaving the besieged company's board to focus on relocating his family to Europe. (Yes, the statement says he's "spending more time with his family.") Kozel, a former CTO of Cisco, was thought to be a proponent of keeping Yahoo independent. Yahoo is not replacing him. [PaidContent]
Jayshree Ullal, a 14-year veteran of the networking giant, is leaving the company, we hear. "Going-away party today at 3:30, Cisco Campus, Building 3," our tipster tells us. Ullal, one of a few female top executives at the company, ran the company's $10 billion datacenter, switching, and security group. Unlike most Cisco executives, she seems to have a sense of humor. Her recent keynote at the Interop conference was plagued by audio problems. "Is it my hair?" she joked at the time. Anyone know where she's headed next? Let us know.
SEIU Local 1877, which represents area janitors, was out in force at Cisco today. The union's contract expired at the end of April, and it looks like the threatened strike has materialized here, as well as in Los Angeles. While the perception is that even service employees can become millionaires in the Valley, that's only if you get equity and happen to work for a company that succeeds. The reality?
Network equipment manufacturer Cisco reported a 10 percent increase in revenue to $9.8 billion, but a 5.4 percent drop in net income due to operating and acquisition costs. Trading volume spiked just before the closing bell, but the stock gained only a tenth of a point over yesterday's close. [WSJ] (Photo by AP/Michel Euler)
Target's ad buyer, Stephen Dwyer, said the Valley needs to better educate buyers by sharing data. Coca-Cola's Tara Scarlett agreed and added that website owners have to explain to ad agencies who their users are and why they're valuable. Or, as two ignorant bloggers explained to David Spark at last night's Revision3 party, "Ad buyers, they're like junkies. And the people who sell advertising are like drug dealers. Facebook needs to better explain how to pack the crack pipe and smoke it."
Cisco has told some managers to limit expenses and use up accumulated vacation days. In February, Cisco cut growth targets to 10 percent from 15. CEO John Chambers also warned that the current slowdown in growth could last from two to five quarters. Why not just offer buyouts to employees who are unhappy with the company? That seems easier.
Cisco intellectual property lawyer Rick Frenkel is a case study in how not to mix your personal blog with your day job. Frenkel wrote the anonymous Patent Troll Tracker blog about "those thought to opportunistically act against alleged patent infringements," reports Forbes. Eventually, Frenkel blogged about a case in which Cisco was the defendant. Guess what happened?
Cisco Systems is the main sponsor for the History Channel show "Modern Marvels," but being the main sponsor wasn't enough. Now, Cisco is actually having themselves magically inserted into old episodes of the show, with just a little bit of new footage and some re-editing. The result is a three-minute "mini-documentary" in which Cisco execs talk about the show's topic, which will be "seamlessly woven in" to the show's commercial breaks. Um, scary! Next thing we know, the Gorton's Fisherman will be rescuing Gilligan on Nick At Nite. Could this ultimately lead to our dead heroes having their memories dredged up just to sell useless dreck? Oh, too late. [TVWeek, History.com]
A tipster sent us this year's Cisco employee survey. It's 55 questions of "strongly disagree / disagree / neither agree nor disagree / agree / strongly agree / don't know" goodness. Strictly speaking, employees aren't "required" to fill out the survey, but they are strongly encouraged to do so. Welcome to the Fortune 500. If my boss sent me this nonsense, I'd circle "don't know" for every question.
Shareholders have already figured out Cisco's not meeting expectations. Now employees are feeling it, too. In good times, Cisco employees get a mid-year advance on their annual bonus, paid in March. But managers have just informed their charges that they're getting half the usual amount. Cisco bonuses start off ranging from 4 percent to 60 percent of one's annual salary, depending on pay grade, and are determined by a maddeningly abstruse formula:
Spending on hardware and software is slowing, Cisco CEO John Chambers said yesterday. Faced with big-picture uncertainty, U.S. and European customers are becoming "increasingly cautious" Chambers told analysts during yesterday's earnings call. He said Cisco sales slowed in January after a solid December. One analyst said the warnings were "more harsh than I expected." (Photo by World Economic Forum)
Cisco's second-quarter revenues grew 17 percent to $9.8 billion, surpassing the consensus forecast of $9.8 billion from Thomson Financial. Cisco reported net income of $2.1 billion or 33 cents a share. In the same quarter last year, Cisco reported a net profit of $1.9 billion, or 31 cents per share. [Marketwatch]
Cisco is introducing a new $75,000 piece of networking equipment, the Nexus 7000. It will, in theory, consume less power while shuttling YouTube clips and videogame downloads to your PC. Great, one more thing to feel guilty about: How your bandwidth consumption contributes to global warming. Before we know it, every Prius owner in Berkeley is going to be buying one of these things for their home datacenters.