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Cisco needs more discipline: CEO

John Chambers vows to take bold steps to improve results

By CBR Staff Writer

Cisco Systems chief John Chambers has admitted that his company had lost its accountability and needs more discipline to restore its credibility.

Chambers wrote in an internal memo to employees that the networking company had been slow to make decisions and lacked discipline.

In a 1,490-word e-mail he wrote, "Our growth strategy has been based on capturing the incredible opportunity afforded by this massive demand for the network. Many say that in the face of this expansion, Cisco needs more discipline. I agree."

The company is under pressure after last two quarterly results which were disappointing. In November, the company said lowered sales growth projections. In February, it went for weaker margins.

Chambers has asked employees for changes in the next few weeks and coming fiscal year, starting in August.

"We have been slow to make decisions, we have had surprises where we should not, and we have lost the accountability that has been a hallmark of our ability to execute consistently for our customers and our shareholders," he said.

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"That is unacceptable. And it is exactly what we will attack."

Chambers said Cisco will focus on 5 key areas: routing, switching and services; collaboration; data center "virtualization" and "cloud" computing; architectures; and video.

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