Cisco CEO Living Off The Past?

Business Insider has an interesting chart today. The chart is comparing the stock prices of Cisco Sytems and Microsoft under their respective CEO’s, John Chambers and Steve Ballmer.

Comparing the stock price of Cisco and Microsoft

Basically, Business Insider is saying that Steve Ballmer is constantly given crap about how poorly Microsoft’s stock has performed with him as the CEO compared to Bill Gate. Meanwhile John Chambers is given a free reign and no one complains of the fact that Cisco’s stock has done even worse than Microsoft.

I would say that John Chambers is given a lot of leeway because of how he handled Cisco through the 1990’s. Back then the stock pretty much did nothing but go up, just like Microsoft. The thing is, I believe a lot of Cisco’s growth was due to acquisitions and not the organic growth of Microsoft.

And today both companies have problems because, they’re really too big to return to the stock price growth of the 1990’s. They both are huge companies and are the dominant company in their industry. I think that’s why you’ve seen Cisco buy up consumer technology companies because, like Microsoft, if they don’t do something with all their cash, they would, you know, have to give it back to the investors which they’re not going to do.