Chambers’ $38 million Christmas gift


John Chambers, the ever smiling chief executive officer of Cisco Systems is cutting himself a nice christmas bonus check.

bq. San Jose Mercury News is reporting that “Chambers collected a net gain of about $38 million from exercising options and selling shares in the San Jose networking giant last month. Chambers exercised options to buy 2 million Cisco shares for $3.45 each Nov. 13, according to Thomson Financial. The same day he sold those shares for prices ranging from $22.50 to $22.73 each.”

Chambers has not sold Cisco stock in almost four years, reports the Silicon Valley home town paper. This indeed is a good time. Cisco shares have climbed almost 70% over past 12 months, and the company is one of the likely winners as telecom industry comes out of a sustained downturn.

bq. Susan Kalla, an analyst with Friedman, Billings, Ramsey, who does not own Cisco stock told The Merc that, “John Chambers is viewed on Wall Street as being a sun god, period. His performance has been so consistent for so long it’s hard to view him any other way.”

Timing of his sales is curious, though not suspicious.

bq. “For the first times in years,” major telephone companies and tens of thousands of corporations that do business with Cisco are increasing their capital expense budgets in 2004 in the “low single-digit percentage,” Chambers told the financial community attending the Cisco Systems Worldwide Analyst Conference 2003. (

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