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Optical/IP

Bonus Day

12:30 PM -- Bonus time! Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) gave out year-end bonuses of $1.3 million to CEO John Chambers and $610,470 to CFO Dennis Powell, according to an SEC filing yesterday.

Chief development officer Charles Giancarlo picked up $646,380, as did Senior VPs Richard J. Justice and Randy Pond.

(Cisco's fiscal year ends in July, so Christmas in July becomes a literal truth. In good years. I guess in bad years, it could be "Hell on Earth in July.")

All this money comes from the pool of executive incentive payments -- and Cisco did have a good year. (See Cisco Q4 Hits the Mark.) But that leads to tougher tests. After setting unusually bullish forecasts for the start of fiscal 2007, Chambers & Co. are going to be pilloried if Q1 turns out to be just "good" or "average." It's a different kind of incentive.

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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