The economic pain continues to trickle down: Cisco is cancelling a two-week sales conference planned for next August in San Francisco. Conferences like this are a combination of boot camp, old-fashioned tent revivals, and frat keggers, held to rev up a company's revenue generators; ostensibly meant to educate salespeople about new products and compensation plans, they more often devolve into debauchery.For Cisco, even the cancellation is a sales opportunity; the company is pitching it as an example of the money-saving potential of its videoconferencing and teleworking products. Boring! Throwing money at salespeople is the best way to make them feel loved — just another sign that Cisco has no real understanding of what a human network really means. It also suggests CEO John Chambers's influence is waning at the company — since this is the kind of event at which his evangelical delivery shines.
There's a thin line between "cheerleader" and "liar." And Cisco CEO John Chambers likes to wave his pom-poms over it. Speaking at a Gartner conference, Chambers said the company wasn't planning any cutbacks, commenter sample032 noticed. On Monday, Cisco filed papers to start a mass layoff of 129 employees in its Richardson, Texas facility. Not technically a lie, a Cisco spokesman maintained to the San Francisco Business Times, because the company "continuously evaluates its businesses to align human and capital resources to address key growth opportunities and improve efficiency." The new euphemism for "layoffs" is "business as usual."
If John McCain gets into the White House, he probably won't ask Treasury secretary Henry Paulson to stay. "I think it would be someone that Americans would recognize that would inspire trust and confidence. There's people like John Chambers, there's people like Meg Whitman, there's people like Warren Buffett," McCain told Reuters. Two of those three might consider the job a step up. (Photos by AP/Dharapak, AP/Paul Sakuma)
Click to viewBenchmark-backed Glassdoor.com popped out of stealth mode as a site that lets users find out what employees think of their employers. As a part of the ratings, company CEO's get a grade. Some, such as Cisco's John T. Chambers and Apple's Steve Jobs fared very well — coming away with 93 percent and 95 percent approval ratings. Others, including Microsoft's Steve Ballmer and Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang, did not. The ten worst-rated CEO's and what employees told Glassdoor they think about them, below.
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."
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)
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.
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)
Once upon a time, Charlie Giancarlo was Cisco's crown prince, the heir certain to CEO John Chambers. As chief development officer, he oversaw a vast swathe of future products. But his power was recently cut back, with R&D responsibilities handed over to a council of executives. Now Giancarlo has resigned, and he's joining Silver Lake Partners, the tech-buyout fund. Not for long, though, we'd bet. Private-equity funds like Silver Lake and Elevation Partners are proving convenient places to park CEOs-in-waiting. Think of Giancarlo's career move as a temporary exile as he searches for a new kingdom.
Some Silicon Valley CEOs rally the troops by hosting ski trips or offering free iPhones. And then there's Cisco CEO John Chambers. He uplifts his workers through internal corporate communications — a webcam set up in his office which allows him to record video missives on his latest travels and to pooh-pooh the last quarter's earnings report. Comments on the videos are enabled, and, some may say, enabling. Unlike the snarky criticisms you see on YouTube or other video sites, all the comments after Chambers's clips are a hallelujah chorus. Cisco's amen corner, after the jump.