* CEO says no interest in device acquisition
* Expects multiple, small deals ahead (Updates with CEO comments)
NEW YORK, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O) Chief Executive John Chambers said the network equipment maker’s future acquisitions would likely be small and not involve consumer devices.
“Within the consumer side of the house, I have no interest in a device,” Chambers told a Goldman Sachs technology conference on Wednesday. He was asked whether Cisco’s expansion in the consumer space could lead to an acquisition of a device maker.
Chambers’ remarks would appear to knock down speculation that has swirled in the market periodically from blogs and traders of a possible acquisition of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd RIM.TO RIMM.O.
Cisco already owns cable set-top box maker Scientific Atlanta as well as Web conferencing company WebEx.
Mergers and acquisitions have been a key part of Cisco’s growth from a manufacturer of routers and switches to the comprehensive network and software maker it is today.
Chambers said there would be “multiple acquisitions, but most of them will be small.”
He also said most people seem to expect the economic downturn to last “well into 2010”, but that he is more optimistic and sees business conditions beginning to recover around the end of 2009.
Cisco shares were down 35 cents or 2.3 percent at $14.64 in afternoon trade, while the Nasdaq composite .IXIC fell about 2 percent. RIM shares were up 1 percent at $40.85 on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Derek Caney)