Cisco Finds Its Pancho

StrataCom is the sidekick it needs to be No.1 in networking

As a veteran of lumbering companies such as IBM and Wang Laboratories Inc., John T. Chambers doesn't seem like a guy who could run one of high tech's hottest stars. Even his father, a retired physician who dabbled in business, swears Chambers, chief executive of Cisco Systems Inc., isn't "mean enough" for the business world. But on Apr. 22, Chambers pulled off one of the biggest, meanest deals around: Cisco said it would spend a stunning $4.1 billion in stock to buy StrataCom Inc., a leader in a crucial new computer networking technology.

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