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Cisco boss slashes salary to $1

Former VP charged in $10m fraud scam

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Cisco chief exec John Chambers has cut his salary to $1 because he wants to share the financial pain of his shareholders and employees.

Cisco's value has bombed by more than $400 billion since March 2000 as its share price has crashed.

So Chambers is making this symbolic gesture, according to The Times. Last year his basic salary was $323,319 and he enjoyed a bonus of $1 million. He also got $155.9 million exercising his share options. So even if he accidentally lost his dollar, he wouldn't be too hard up.

He also has another $779 million worth of share options he can exercise, and on top of that he's got a further $346 million options maturing nicely, but not quite ready to exercise.

How his $1 wage will brighten up the day of the 8,500 people being laid off by Cisco isn't clear. Cisco announced it was axing 17 per cent of its work force last week, taking charges of as much as $3.7 billion, and reporting third-quarter results far below forecasts.

Meanwhile, in another nicely timed anti-PR move, a former Cisco executive has been charged in an elaborate, multimillion-dollar fraud case, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Robert S. Gordon is accused of running phony stock deals to scam Cisco and its partners. He was fired by the company earlier this month.

He admits to breaking company rules but denies criminal wrongdoing, according to the Mercury which was citing court papers filed by the government.

Gordon is accused of setting up Bahamas based shell company called Cisco Systems, which had no relation to the Cisco he worked for. In this company he placed 30,000 shares of a firm called Internet Security Services Group, owned by the genuine Cisco, which he then sold for more than $5 million.

He's also accused of getting Spanlink, a Cisco partner, to invest $10 million into a bogus VC business.

Gordon is out on bail after posting a $5 million cash bond and using his $1.6 million house as collateral. ®

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