rumour: Cisco Is Putting Linksys And WebEx On The Block

John Chambers Cisco CEO

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Cisco is close to selling its Linksys home networking products and WebEx video chat and collaboration tools for business, according to a report in The Register.The sale could be announced as soon as next week, according to unnamed sources.

Selling Linksys would make some sense: it’s mainly a consumer brand, and is outside the company’s five new focus areas, which are mostly focused on big business customers — core routing and switching, collaboration, data centre virtualization and cloud, architectures, and video.

Last month, Cisco shut down the Flip consumer video camera business — the company either was unable to find a buyer, or didn’t even try.

The WebEx sale would be a little more surprising, as WebEx products fit into company’s collaboration business.  But Cisco does have other collaboration offerings that don’t use the WebEx brand, like the recently introduced Jabber for real-time collaboration, and it also has a high-end line of video conferencing products.

Like Flip, both of the endangered brands were acquisitions: Cisco bought Linksys for $500 million in 2003 and WebEx for $3.2 billion in 2007.

Recently, Cisco began a major reorganization that eliminates the crazy, complicated management structure it used for a few years, and analysts expect the company to lay off between 3,000 and 5,000 people in coming months.