Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 09:31:13 +0200
- Computing and software
Cisco : The anti-Nokia
Is the world’s biggest maker of networking gear spreading itself too thinly?
ASK John Chambers, the boss of Cisco, about the formative experience of his business life and he mentions his time at Wang Laboratories. The defunct maker of word processors failed to recognise the importance of cheap standard PCs and he had to oversee almost 5,000 lay-offs—something, he says, he never wants to do again.
The mass firing goes a long way towards explaining why Cisco, the world’s biggest maker of networking equipment, is perhaps the best counter-example to Nokia. In contrast to the troubled Finnish firm, it is trying to make a business out of reinventing itself—so much so that investors wonder if the firm is stretching itself too thinly. Those criticisms are unlikely to go away after the quarterly results Cisco posted on February 9th. Earnings fell by 18% and revenues rose by an unexciting 6% year-on-year. ...