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Chambers To Become Chairman of Cisco, Keeps His CEO Role

Posted June 8, 2006

— John Chambers, the chief executive officer at

Cisco Systems

for the past 11 years, will soon be wearing another hat.

Cisco said Thursday that Chambers would become chairman of the company in November. At that time, current chairman and former CEO John Morgridge will become chairman emeritus. The change will take effect on Nov. 15 at the company's annual shareholder meeting. Morgridge said last year that he would not stand for re-election.

Chambers has been president and CEO since December of 1995. He joined the firm in 1991 as senior vice president for worldwide sales and operations.

Also Thursday, Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) said it would buy back another $5 billion of its stock. The networking gear manufacturer has repurchased more than $32 billion in stock in recent years.

Cisco employs some 2,700 workers at its campus in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

"Today's unanimous decision by the board of directors underscores our high level of confidence in John Chambers' leadership over his 15-year tenure at Cisco, and his ability to shape the future direction of the company," Morgridge said in a statement. "John's model for leadership evolution at Cisco has resulted in a world-class executive team with an unequaled industry track record and proven ability to achieve sustained profitable growth."

Morgridge has worked with Cisco for more than 18 years and was named chairman in 1995. Widely recognized as a philanthropist, Morgridge will focus on the Cisco Foundation.

"I will be honored to serve Cisco's shareholders, customers, partners and employees as CEO and chairman," said Chambers. "This decision reflects as much on me as it does on the leadership team at Cisco and our board of directors. We're building a management team for the 21st century that emphasizes collaborative leadership built on teamwork that drives innovation and speed of execution -- I couldn't be more proud of what Cisco has accomplished as a team."

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