Are investors stuck with John Chambers no matter what Cisco’s stock does?Insiders say they could be, because Chambers has amassed so much power that there’s no way to get him to retire.
“Anyone who challenges Chambers is gone. The curious thing is that every time he discusses retirement, John extends it by two years. John looks at Cisco as if it were a platform for him, for his political ambitions, for country building,” one former top executive with Cisco who still has close ties to the company told us.
“There is no one there that could be CEO. It’s not Gary Moore,” says the exec. Moore is Cisco’s first COO who joined the company in February, 2011.
Don’t look for Cisco’s board of directors to step in and force the issue of leadership, this exec says. “Look at the board’s composition. All of the board members have been selected by John and each one was not a great executioner either at their own CEO job, like Carol Bartz. They aren’t going to stand up and say, ‘John, you’re doing this wrong.'”
Note that both ex-Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz and Yahoo founder Jerry Yang are on Cisco’s board.
When John Chambers took over as chairman of Cisco, the stock traded at about $26 a share. Today it trades at about $16. It hasn’t seen $25 in two years and hasn’t seen the glory days of $77 a share since the tech bubble crashed in 2000.
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