Cisco's Chambers & Dot-Bomb Blodget: Mismatch Of Century - InformationWeek
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IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation
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8/9/2009
11:15 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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Cisco's Chambers & Dot-Bomb Blodget: Mismatch Of Century

The down-the-rabbit-hole image of disgraced and banned-for-life stock-promoter Henry Blodget trying to school hugely successful Cisco CEO John Chambers is shocking. Then again, when someone of Blodget's ilk and credentials asks if Chambers has "lost his mind," smart money will no doubt flood in Chambers' direction. Read on to see Mad Hatter Henry's mumblings.

The down-the-rabbit-hole image of disgraced and banned-for-life stock-promoter Henry Blodget trying to school hugely successful Cisco CEO John Chambers is shocking. Then again, when someone of Blodget's ilk and credentials asks if Chambers has "lost his mind," smart money will no doubt flood in Chambers' direction. Read on to see Mad Hatter Henry's mumblings.I'm tempted to refer to Blodget as an ankle-biter but I think that would be giving him too much credit. Let me instead offer this backgrounder on hammerin' Henry:

"In 2002, NOW With Bill Moyers reported extensively on the role played by stock analysts at Merrill Lynch in the financial scandals of the Internet bust. Among the most damning evidence used by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer were e-mails written by star Internet stock analyst Henry Blodget which praised companies to investors while denigrating them privately. (Read Blodget's e-mails.) Merrill Lynch agreed to pay a $200 million fine for issuing fraudulent research. The company also changed its payment practices, prohibiting analysts payments from being related to the firm's investment-banking work. Henry Blodget was fined $4 million and banned from the securities industry for life."

Hey, with a background like that, the guy's got cred to spare, right? So when I saw that the banned-for-life promoter was calling out John Chambers and his new strategy for management structure and decision-making at Cisco, I felt like a front-row spectator at a guaranteed train wreck: how could I avoid looking?

I'll spare you the details of Henry's deep insight except for one example below. Also, for those of you who feel the need to abuse yourselves, here's a link to the banned-for-life stock promoter's advice to a guy who has built a $40 billion company, created hundreds of thousands of jobs, done extraordinary work for a range of charitable organizations, and who has managed to do all that without matching Henry's track record of being fired, fined $4 million, and banned for life from a job he handled with an astonishing lack of ethics, integrity, and honesty:

"We don't mean to be rude, but these ideas sound awful," sniffs Henry. "If this is what it takes to keep Cisco growing at an impressive rate, then the hell with growth."

As we all learned in third grade, consider the source.

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