1. The Great Cisco Slim-Down
At the end of 2011, Cisco is more than 13,000 employees lighter, has restructured and streamlined its sales and engineering units, has promoted and reassigned key executives such as Americas SVP Chuck Robbins into power management roles, and is recovering after several quarters' worth of disappointing earnings and near constant criticism from Wall Street, the channel and customers.
Cisco CEO John Chambers penned an unusually candid 1,500-word memo in April that set the tone for Cisco's 2011. Cisco, said Chambers, had disappointed investors, confused employees and lost credibility in the market. "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 or of our ability to execute consistently for our customers and our shareholders. That is unacceptable. And it is exactly what we will attack."The net result? Well, for the channel, a happier group of partners who see a simpler Cisco as a better, more productive Cisco.