Optical/IP Networks

Sarin Rejoins Cisco's Board

Now that he's apparently got some time on his hands, and less of a perceived conflict of interest, former Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) CEO Arun Sarin has reclaimed a board seat at Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO).

Sarun came back on Sept. 9 and received Cisco's standard welcoming basket for directors: a $75,000 per year retainer (prorated for this year) and 16,666 shares of stock that vest over two years.

Of course, Sarin isn't in it for the money. He left Vodafone in July 2008 with parting gifts totaling about $50 million. (See Sarin Steps Down as Vodafone CEO and Sarin's Bumper Bonus.)

Sarin originally joined Cisco's board in 1998, when he was president of wireless provider AirTouch Communications and served as a Vodafone board member. He left Cisco's board in 2003 after accepting the CEO job at Vodafone, succeeding Chris Gent.

His CEO reign was tumultuous but ultimately successful. Sarin divested Vodafone's investments in some mature markets while pushing hard for presence in emerging markets. He also chose to keep Vodafone invested in Verizon Wireless . Such decisions weren't always popular, leading some shareholders to revolt (unsuccessfully) in 2006. (See Vodafone Hangs On to Verizon Stake, Vodafone Holds On to Verizon Stake, Vodafone CEO Faces Showdown, and Sarin Survives.)

With Sarin, Cisco has 13 directors on its board, including CEO John Chambers, former WorldCom CEO Michael Capellas, and Yahooers Carol Bartz and Jerry Yang.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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