| NEW YORK, Sept 25
NEW YORK, Sept 25 Cisco Systems Inc CEO
John Chambers, a supporter of Mitt Romney, says the country's
next head of state should take his cues from former President
Bill Clinton, regardless of who emerges as the victor in
"There's a lot to learn from President Clinton. It kills me
as a strong Republican saying it, but he was the most effective
president during my lifetime," Chambers told Reuters in an
interview on Tuesday.
Chambers said Clinton worked with businesses to generate
jobs and growth in real income for families, while taking the
budget from a deficit to a surplus.
"And when business got out of line, he smacked them,"
Some technology industry leaders view President Barack Obama
as anti-business because of uncertainty blamed on the Dodd-Frank
financial regulation reform and healthcare overhaul.
Obama was the darling of the technology world during his
campaign in 2008, but Republican presidential candidate Mitt
Romney, a former private equity executive, has made inroads in
"The business community is very comfortable with Romney,"
But no matter who won, the challenges remained the same.
"If we don't deal with the fiscal cliff and don't deal with
predictability on taxes for both citizens and business, with the
rest of the world in a struggling state, this is really bad for
us," he added.
The "fiscal cliff" refers to the impact of around $500
billion in expiring tax cuts and automatic spending reductions
set for 2013 as a result of successive failures by Congress to
agree on some orderly alternative method of reducing budget
Asked if he would consider accepting a political appointment
himself, Chambers said he had been asked by previous
administrations but turned them down.
"I don't enjoy politics," he said. "I like to get things
done and I like Republicans and Democrats, and that doesn't
always work well."
About his own future at Cisco, where he has been in charge
for almost 18 years, Chambers repeated he would not be in that
role in two to four years and that the company had a few
candidates as potential successors.
"We have always had a hit-by-the-bus scenario that's Gary
Moore for me," Chambers said, speaking of Cisco's Chief
Cisco wanted any transition to be as smooth as possible and
there were around 10 candidates who were potential candidates.
"When we evolve the CEO you shouldn't even notice it is
happening," Chambers said. "We have a next generation of leaders
at multiple levels. We have three to five at the first wave and
probably four to five in the second."
He said the company made a point of moving executives around
to ensure they were not "kept in silos," citing Edzard Overbeek
as an example. Overbeek was head of Cisco's sales in the Asia
Pacific region, but was recently named senior vice president for