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Optical/IP

Cisco's CFO Seeks May Day

Cisco chief financial officer Larry Carter does want to retire within a year, but first he must convince his boss, CEO John Chambers.

Carter, 59, has been the subject of several rumors, all of which have him leaving Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) to spend more time with his family (see Cisco Stock Falls on CFO Rumors and Cisco Looking at Maffei?). During Cisco's earnings conference call Tuesday evening, CEO Chambers set the record straight, saying that he and Carter had never really discussed a specific retirement date.

"Larry made it clear that he wants to retire next May, around his 60th birthday," Chambers said on the call. "My goal is to keep him longer."

So, once again, it's not clear when Carter will retire, but it's not likely to be anytime soon. With Cisco being asked by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to sign off on its financials by August 14th, it would be a perilous time for Carter to leave, in terms of investor confidence (see Optical Companies Challenged by SEC).

When Carter does give up his post, however, Chambers says that Cisco intends for Dennis Powell, Cisco's VP of corporate finance, to be his successor, contrary to an earlier report that listed 360networks Inc. CEO Greg Maffei as one of the finalists in the running for the job (see Cisco Looking at Maffei?).

On the conference call, Chambers said he'll do what he can to see that Carter renews his contract and promised to keep the investment community posted either way.

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.com
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