Cisco not buying RIM, hints chief exec


Cisco chief executive John Chambers has ruled out any major or consumer technology led mergers and acquisition (M&A) activity.

His comments, made at the Goldman Sachs 2009 US Technology and Internet Conference yesterday, have been interpreted to mean the firm is unlikely to make a widely rumoured bid for BlackBerry mobile maker, Research in Motion (RIM).

Chambers told the conference delegates that the networking and software vendor, which has made some major buys in the past with web conferencer, WebEx and cable set-top box manufacturer, Scientific Atlanta, had no current interest in consumer devices.

He was quoted as saying that there would still be "multiple acquisitions," but he added that "most of them will be small".

In light of the reported 250 jobs cut at the firm's California headquarters this week, the chief executive also commented on the likely economic outlook.

He said he was more optimistic than the general consensus that the downturn would last "well into 2010," - instead he was expecting to see signs of recovery before the end of 2009.

The company has, like most major US tech vendors, been on a cost-cutting exercise since global economic growth headed south last year.

It has committed to a number of layoffs and a restructuring initiative aimed at reducing operating budget by $1 billion (702 million) by the end of its 2009 fiscal year.

At the beginning of this month Cisco was one of the first US vendors to report its second quarter 2009 results, where its orders dropped 20 per cent in January compared to the same time last year.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.