Cisco – A Shining Example

There was an excellent profile in last weekend’s Wall Street Journal of Cisco Systems and its CEO, John Chambers. Cisco is a company that “gets it”.  In some of the most difficult economic conditions of our lifetime, Cisco is not hiding its head in the sand.  Here is Chambers’ philosophy:

Even in this downturn, we intend to be the most aggressive we’ve ever been.

That is saying something for Cisco.  Since Chambers took over as CEO in 1995, Cisco has been a bold acquirer.  As the article says:

Cisco’s growth plan has combined audacity in acquisitions and attacking new markets with strict, even ruthless control over costs.

The result of this growth plan?  I could lay it out in words, but you know that a picture says it better – look at Cisco’s performance against the major stock indices since 1990:

Cisco is represented by the blue line.

Cisco is represented by the blue line.

Pretty impressive.  Being aggressive during down times and constantly calibrating with targeted acquisitions have paid off big time for Cisco and its investors.