Cisco Confirms 2009 Sales Conference Cancellation

As previously reported on ChannelWeb, the San Jose, Calif.-based networking powerhouse canceled the yearly conference, slated for Aug. 18 through Aug. 31, 2009, in San Francisco, as part of its ongoing effort to cut costs and reduce internal travel.

Instead of GSM, a Cisco spokesperson said Wednesday the company plans to host a virtual event for its sales force using voice and video technologies. The virtual event is still in the planning stages and concrete dates have not yet been set.

In its quarterly earnings call last week, Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers said the company hopes to slash more than $1 billion in costs and expenses in fiscal 2009. As part of that effort, Chambers said Cisco will realign resources, implement a hiring freeze and further cut the amount of corporate business travel.

The cost-cutting endeavor came after Cisco posted earnings of $2.2 billion, or 37 cents a share, down slightly from the same quarter a year ago. Cisco, however, said it expected revenue to drop as much as 10 percent year-over-year in the second fiscal quarter.

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Along with putting the GSM on the chopping block, Cisco last week canceled its Women's Leadership Forum, which was set to be held this week in San Diego.

Cisco on Wednesday wouldn't say if any other events or conferences would be affected by the cost-cutting efforts, but noted that the company will continue to find areas in which to cut costs to achieve the $1 billion in reductions.