Chambers' pay climbs 16%, Cisco net income falls 23%

Longtime CEO scores US$2 million bonus, gets total of $14.2 million in compensation

Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers got a 16% raise this year, according to calculations made by the Associated Press, including a US$2 million bonus for vision and leadership.

According to Cisco’s most recent filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Chambers’ base salary was US$375,000, the same as the year before. But he received stock options and restricted stock worth $11.8 million at the time they were issued, the AP says.

His grand total in compensation was $14.2 million, the AP calculates.

Chambers’ did better than Cisco itself, which reported a revenue decline of 8.7% and net income drop of 23.8% in fiscal 2009, as compared to fiscal 2008. Last year Chambers qualified for a $3 million cash incentive, but he didn’t qualify for one this year.

Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal reports that Chambers says the economy has started a gradual recovery based on orders Cisco is receiving from customers, their comments and the performance of the stock market.

To help steer Cisco through the recession, Chambers approved layoffs of about 2,000 workers and was looking to cut up to $1.5 billion in expenses to improve the bottom line. Those efforts included a five-day shutdown at the end of last year.

In figuring out Chambers’ income package, the AP says: “The calculations don't include changes in the present value of pension benefits, and they sometimes differ from the totals companies list in the summary compensation table of proxy statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

Over the past year, Cisco’s stock has fluctuated in price between $13.61 and $24.

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