Cisco CEO: Don`t Freak Out About Weak Market

By Reuters -  |  Posted 2008-02-11

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Cisco Systems Inc Chief Executive John Chambers still thinks that tougher times may lie ahead for network equipment spending, but says it's nothing to "freak out" about.

At a media event on Monday during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Chambers reiterated his comments last week that business executives are cautious, but suggested that sentiment could soon turn.

"I hope to be here in three months saying I was wrong and it wasn't much," he said. "We view it as a very shallow scenario and nothing to freak out about."

The comments from Chambers, typically among the most upbeat technology executives on the global economy, come after he said last Wednesday that U.S. and European chief executives were being the most cautious he had seen in many years.

His comments, along with a disappointing revenue forecast from Cisco, had added jitters to a shaky market -- and rocked his company's shares.

Chambers repeated on Monday that he expects a slowdown in corporate network equipment spending.

"If I thought (the downturn) was really long and really deep, I would say that to you," he said.

Cisco is the latest of a slew of technology companies that have been raising warning flags about nervous consumers and businesses facing the threat of a recession.

(Reporting by Sinead Carew; Writing by Franklin Paul, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

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