Cisco boss rumoured to quit today

The dark satanic rumour mill has manufactured a hell on earth yarn which claims that the head of Cisco is about to announce his resignation and anoint his successor.

John Chambers is going to take to the stage for Cisco Systems annual financial analyst conference and, word is, he is going to cede the CEO job.

Chambers has been widely tipped to exit Cisco after more than 16 years at the top. While he is still loved by his board, and there is no formal CEO search under way, there is frustration in the company over the lack of a clear succession plan.

Candidates have been lobbying shareholders in a bid to build support, there is a belief that the next leader will likely come from outside the company thanks to the fact that senior executives have been fleeing Cisco lately.

Contenders include the winer and diner of former soft porn stars Mark Hurd and less interesting former Cisco executives Charles Giancarlo, Mike Volpi, Gary Daichendt and James Richardson.

Juniper Networks CEO Kevin Johnson, former McAfee CEO Dave DeWalt, and HP executive David Donatelli have also been tipped.

One source told Reuters that there is a massive war inside Cisco about potential succession. There is real tension and everybody knows it’s coming.

Chambers wants to end his tenure on a high note, which makes it less likely that he will quit this quarter. Apparently Chambers is looking for at least one strong quarter before announcing he is going.

However there is some optimism on Wall Street that Cisco has moved past its worst quarters and Chambers will have some good news. If that is the case then he might announce he is going.

Chambers might push to be the chairman of the Cisco board, but that could put off potential successors who want autonomy, Reuters points out.