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Cisco Proves in Tech, Retail and Corporate Don’t Mix

The Linksys EA4500. Cisco reportedly asked Barclays to help it sell home router maker Linksys.

The Linksys EA4500. Cisco reportedly asked Barclays to help it sell home router maker Linksys. Courtesy Cisco

It’s rare in the world of technology that we see a company successfully managing two very different businesses under one roof—high-touch corporate customers and price-sensitive consumers. It’s usually management hubris that takes companies down this path—only to realize the blunder a few years later.

The latest victim is Cisco Systems, the largest maker of gear for computer networks. For most of its 28-year history, Cisco was one of the hottest stocks on Wall Street, fueled by what seemed like insatiable demand from major corporations around the world for its communications gear.