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Cisco boss vows to be aggressive in downturn

Simon Quicke

Cisco boss John Chambers has vowed to be "aggressive" in the downturn to ensure that the networking giant comes out the other side of the downturn in a stronger position.

Speaking to Radio 4's In Business programme, which was broadcast last night, Cisco's CEO said that it would take advantage of change and get into a position of being the "plumber" that makes smart networks function.

"You are never going to see us more aggressive than we are right now," he said.

"The last economic slowdown in 2001 was much more severe for high-tech. This one is more sever for our customers on a global basis but I am at the front end of a product cycle ranging from collaboration to web 2.0 and how we are going to change the home so I am going to be very aggressive in this downturn," he added.

"We are going to be aggressive in the next one to two years and move into a lot of new markets," he said that it would be a combination of acquisitions as well as through internal start-ups.

Chambers added that the company was increasing its flexibility devolving power to hand business unit's greater autonomy.

"The majority of decisions will be collaborative and command and control will be 20% of how you run a company compared to 80%," he said.

Already this year Cisco has acquired consumer specialist Pure Digital to strengthen its home electronics play but it has also indicated that it is being selective about making purchases recently ruling itself out of the chase to buy Sun before Oracle finally made the acquisition.

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