Monday, June 09, 2003

WSJ.com - Cisco Keeps Low Profile On Ownership of Linksys

WSJ.com - Cisco Keeps Low Profile On Ownership of Linksys
"But you'll have to look hard to find Cisco's famous suspension-bridge logo on store shelves crammed with networking gear from lesser-known rivals such as Netgear, D-Link and Buffalo. In a sharp departure from its traditional pattern of swallowing and quickly integrating acquisitions, Cisco executives say they plan to leave Linksys alone.
That means keeping the Linksys brand and blue-themed color scheme, while merely whispering Cisco's name in small type at the bottom of the box. It means keeping Linksys's low-cost design and manufacturing operation in Taiwan and China. It means allowing Linksys to keep separate financial software, so the unit can track expenses more closely. It even means installing Cisco executives as "blockers" to prevent other Cisco employees from meddling with Linksys.
...
Linksys has been developing more sophisticated products in recent years to push further into the small-business market. But Mr. Giancarlo says Cisco may slow or reverse those efforts, to keep Linksys focused on the consumer and very-small business market.
Alan Marc Smith, chief executive of Westcon Group, Tarrytown, N.Y., a big Cisco distributor, summarizes the strategy more pithily: "They want to limit the [Linksys] offerings," he says. "They don't want [customers] flipping to the Linksys technology for half the price."

That doesn't bode well for Linksys...
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