Powell Ropes In Cisco's Chambers

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As part of his campaign to expose Federal Communications Commission workers
to industry leaders, FCC chairman Michael Powell has invited Cisco Systems Inc.
president and CEO John Chambers to kick off the agency's 'Distinguished
Speakers' series.

Chambers is scheduled to appear at the FCC Oct. 12 for an event to which all
FCC employees at the Portals are invited. The event will also be available on
the FCC's internal closed-circuit-television system for agency workers in field

The media is barred from covering the event, commission spokesman David Fiske
said, adding, 'It's not a public event.'

Powell has stressed the importance of keeping FCC employees in touch with
market realities by bringing in leading executives to address the staff. He has
said that when company leaders visit the agency on an issue, the staff must have
its own knowledge base so the meetings don't effectively become
industry-directed tutorials.

At the apex of the tech boom, Cisco became the most valuable company on the
planet in terms of market capitalization. Some analysts predicted that Cisco --
a leading maker of Internet equipment -- would go on to become the first
trillion-dollar company.

But the dot-com implosion hit Cisco hard, causing the company to take huge
accounting write-offs and let go 8,500 workers, the first layoffs in company

Cisco's stock closed Tuesday at about $11 per share, 81 percent off its
52-week high. But the company has a cushion for the tough times -- no debt and
$18.5 billion in cash.