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Chambers: $3 Million Man

Craig Matsumoto
9/26/2008

NOON -- The days of the $1 CEO are long gone at Cisco, not that anyone expected John Chambers to keep his salary at that level forever.

For fiscal 2008, which ended in July, Chambers got a $25,000 salary raise, to $375,000. What's more important, of course, is his bonus: roughly $3 million, according to an SEC filing yesterday.

That's based on the median CEO salary at selected Cisco peer companies and a 1.28 "performance factor," which is the board's way of judging Chambers's performance on a scale of 0 to 2, according to the AP.

Chambers also got fists full of stock option, which, at $32.21, are underwater. He's probably not alone there.

In real life, continued annual growth of 8 percent wouldn't be so bad, but Chambers keeps promising 12 to 17 percent. Analysts increasingly are ignoring the "...to 17 percent" part and assuming he'll have to shoot low -- but even 12 percent doesn't seem achievable for at least one more year, based on what Chambers is saying. (See Cisco: Economic Troubles Aren't Over.) Whether that's worth a 1.28 next year is something for the board to decide.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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