|Cisco CEO John Chambers|
LAS VEGAS ( TheStreet) -- With giant layoff rumors continuing to swirl around Cisco ( CSCO), CEO John Chambers sought to assure customers Tuesday that his company's ongoing overhaul will deliver results. "Where will we be, two to three years from now?" he asked during his keynote speech at the Cisco Live! conference. "We will be a company that will lead the future of networking."
In an attempt to improve its execution, Cisco has already announced a number of restructuring efforts, notably the streamlining of its sales, services and engineering operations. "We're too complex," said Chambers. "You're going to see us make these changes in engineering and sales." Cisco recently reported underwhelming third-quarter numbers and delivered a weak outlook for the third consecutive quarter. Buffeted by lackluster public sector and consumer sales, Cisco shares have plunged more than 22% this year, even prompting a slam by consumer advocate Ralph Nader. "What you see, if we do our job right, and we will, is the ability to speed our decisions," said Chambers. "Speed of decision
making is the number one thing that I want to see at Cisco." As part of this effort, Cisco promoted Gary Moore to the newly created role of COO earlier this year, who Chambers lauded as "doing a great job" on Tuesday. Cisco customer Lou Modano, head of global infrastructure at Nasdaq OMX, welcomed the promise of better decision making. "Any improvement that any vendor makes to improve their speed to market benefits the user," he told TheStreet. Cisco's Chambers avoided the layoff rumors, focusing instead on the company's metamorphosis. The San Jose, Calif.-based firm told CNBC that it will provide additional information on its cost reductions, including layoffs, during its fourth-quarter conference call on Aug. 11. ( TheStreet will live-blog the earnings call.) Chambers, true to form, devoted a chunk of his presentation to espousing the benefits of video, boldly predicting that it will dominate the entire tech sector in the next few years. "Four years ago, we said that video will be the new voice," he explained. "Video four years from now will be the leading way we communicate, it will be the primary form of IT."
The Cisco CEO also told customers that his firm's UCS server technology, which competes with offerings from HP ( HPQ), IBM ( IBM) and Dell ( DELL), is gaining traction, noting that Cisco now holds 10% of the global x86 server market and 18% of the U.S. market. Chambers highlighted the recent debut of Cisco's Cius device, a business tablet that runs Google's ( GOOG) Android operating system. "You're beginning to see it launch in volume," he said. "I believe this product is going to be really hot." Despite the company's recent problems, the networking giant has been successful in luring a large number of customers to its annual event. Some 15,000 users are attending Cisco Live!, according to Chambers, a 32% increase on last year. Cisco shares closed up 17 cents, or 1.10%, at $15.60 on Tuesday. --Written by James Rogers in New York. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/jamesjrogers. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.