Cisco Tries to Untangle the Internal Hairball

Susan Hall

I wrote yesterday that Cisco is revamping its management structure, especially streamlining its council structure that has slowed decision-making and led to an executive exodus.


A piece in The Wall Street Journal provides more details. It says that in 2009, the company had 47 internal boards that reported to 12 councils that drew managers from across the company. Nine councils remained before the latest changes. No wonder managers, who had to petition these groups for their departmental budgets, felt they couldn't get anything done.


The company said Thursday it will organize operations around geographic areas and customer segments, allowing lower-level managers to make more decisions on their own. The number of councils has been reduced to three and the boards subordinate to the eliminated councils probably will be disbanded.


The story quotes Brian Marshall of analysts Gleacher & Co., saying:

Cisco missed a lot of key trends and sat on its laurels ... and a lot of that is because of the bureaucratic tape.

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