Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) CEO John Chambers’ quest to refocus the vendor on its core business of enterprise networking may see the company soon put Linksys, its consumer and small business product division, up for sale.
According to a report from Bloomberg, Cisco has retained Barclays Plc to help it find a buyer for Linksys. Spokespeople for Cisco and Barclays declined comment on the report.
Selling off Linksys would fit with Chambers’ strategy over the past year, which has seen Cisco shed businesses viewed as non-core, such as the Flip video camera, and slash over 7,000 jobs in an attempt to get the company’s fiscal house in order. Linksys would likely be viewed as non-core to Cisco’s primary business as a provider of networking and data centre infrastructure to enterprise customers.
Linksys, or Linksys by Cisco as the company later branded it, is an established player in the consumer market. It’s known primarily for its home wireless routers, but it was also the focal-point for a short-lived Cisco entry into the home entertainment space called “Connected Home”, and offers a range of products for the “s” end of the small and medium-sized business (SMB) market. The small business products were integrated into Cisco in 2008.
The division has always been a bit of an odd sheep at Cisco, operating semi-independently from its enterprise-focused parent and never being fully integrated into the Cisco brand. While at one time Linksys was a good fit for Cisco as it looked to grow beyond the data centre and into the home, seeing its business as being anywhere network traffic is being generated, with Cisco now retrenching back to the enterprise Linksys would be a logical sale to refocus the vendor and bring in needed cash.
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