Chambers Promises Changes For Cisco After Disappointing Investors, Confusing Employees

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Several partners wondered aloud what Chambers' planned "targeted moves" would be.

Members of the financial analyst community also highlighted the deeper implications in Chambers' statements. Ehud Gelblum, managing director at Morgan Stanley, said Chambers' admission was "refreshing" and that "any change should be good for the stock, since the current strategy is not working, in our view."

"The most telling part of the memo to us is the clause stating that Cisco 'will not fix what's not broken,' which seems to imply Cisco could radically reform areas that are 'broken' including potentially backing away from many of the 30 market 'adjacencies' Chambers had set the company on course to go after three years ago," Gelblum wrote in a research note Tuesday.

In a February note, Gelblum and Morgan Stanley floated the idea of Cisco splitting itself into several businesses with different margin and growth targets. Gelblum brought that up again Tuesday.

"In its current form, Cisco appears to be trading revenue for margins, by attempting to optimize a mature business for growth, resulting in a loss of focus on core switching and routing while aggressive growth targets are forcing it into lower margin businesses, such as consumer," Gelblum wrote.

Gelblum added that Morgan Stanley expects "major changes" to Cisco's internal management structure.

"In short we expect people and [marketing funds] to be moved from the more fringe businesses to Cisco's core routing, switching, data center, video and collab," he said.

Steve Burke contributed to this article.


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