Cisco Strategy Chief to Leave After 13 Years

Cisco strategy chief to leave after 13 years — the story was the same in the San Jose Mercury-News and the Wall Street Journal. Ned Hooper left to start an investment partnership (whatever that means). He had served as strategy chief since 2009. This raises two questions.

  1. Who knew Cisco had someone in charge of strategy?
  2. How the heck did Mr. Hooper keep his job for even three years given the incredible strategic blunders during that period?

Let us count the mistakes.  First and foremost, Cisco pays a ton of cash to buy the Flip video camera, only to kill the product.  It’s one thing to buy a competing product to get it off the market.  But the Flip did not compete directly with anything Cisco makes.  Perhaps the strategy was to eventually enter the streaming video market.  But the Flip was hardly a competitor in that space.  Is a puzzlement.

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Mr. Hooper was widely considered to be a candidate to succeed CEO John Chambers.  Cisco has a long history of departures among people who aspired to Mr. Chambers’s job.  But, as the chart of the company’s stock price and trading volume shows, Cisco has a long way to go to restore their luster.  This looks like another case of the HP disease in which a passive Board of Directors allows the CEO free reign, but completely fails in its fiduciary duty to stockholders.

Cisco Stock Price and Volume

Cisco Stock Price and Volume


About Tony Lima

Tony Lima has been working with technology, economic modeling, forecasting, and market research for 40 years. His background makes him uniquely qualified to navigate this varied landscape. Begin with his education: B.S. in chemical engineering from M.I.T. , M.B.A. from Harvard, Ph.D. in economics from Stanford. His day job was professor of economics at California State University, East Bay. He retired in 2016 to devote his time to consulting and writing. But he has found time to: write (eight books and over 100 articles ranging from wine economics to detailed analyses of meta-language code generators) consult with companies ranging from Microsoft to CEDEX keep his expertise up-to-date, constantly reading and sorting through the avalanche of information available daily maintain three blogs: Wine Research, Wine Economics, and Economic Policy Local policy analysis: Los Altos

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