Cisco names Chambers next chairman

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Cisco names Chambers next chairman

Cisco Systems on Thursday said its board had approved a management succession plan that designates John Chambers as future chairman of the company in addition to his role as chief executive.

NEW YORK - Cisco Systems on Thursday said its board had approved a management succession plan that designates John T. Chambers as future chairman of the company in addition to his role as chief executive.

Chambers will succeed current chairman John P. Morgridge at the telecommunications equipment maker's annual shareholder meeting on November 15. Morgridge will become chairman emeritus.

The board also authorised up to US$5 billion in additional share repurchases, raising its total buyback program from US$35 billion.

There is no fixed timetable for the buyback program. From September 2001 through the end of April, Cisco repurchased and retired around 1.8 billion shares at an average price of US$18.21 each, for an aggregate amount of about US$32.6 billion, the company said. The remaining authorized amount is about US$2.4 billion.

Chambers has been president and CEO of Cisco since January 1995.

The company's board consists of 12 directors, nine of whom are independent. Last year, Cisco adopted a policy that would bar anyone over the age of 70 from joining the board. Morgridge, who had preceded Chambers as CEO, was 71 at the time.

Cisco last month said its revenue rose to US$7.32 billion in the third quarter ended on April 29, up from US$6.19 billion a year earlier and exceeding Wall Street forecasts.

Net income fell slightly, largely due to stock-based accounting. The company has forecast fourth-quarter revenue between US$7.8 billion and US$7.95 billion.

Cisco shares were up 5 cents at $19.96 in early Nasdaq trade.


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