CES 2009 - Chambers eases opposition to government help

LAS VEGAS - I'm sure I'm not the only one who was late to CES 2009 keynote speeches because they were held at the Palazzo Hotel rather than at the Las Vegas Convention Center, so I'll skip the complaint (or will merely just refer to it in passive aggressive fashion). In any case, by the time I walked in the door for the Friday afternoon keynote by Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers, Chambers was already doing his walking-among-the-audience thing (If you have never seen this, he does it often, and actually seems to acknowledge every single audience member by eye contact at some point, which is both engaging and freaky).

By Friday, the world was already aware of Cisco's latest move, its push into the consumer home with a new media hub from Linksys and a new wireless home audio system. Chambers spent some time demonstrating and talking about both, but also found time to tout the company's telepresence system. More interesting than the demos were comments Chambers made about the general industry conditions. I misunderstood at first what Chambers said about government involvement in corporate affairs, but then it became clear: Chambers said he had changed his once strong opposition to government involvement, which didn't seem to be an appeal on behalf of Cisco for government assistance, but perhaps an appeal for assistance for Cisco's customers. Chambers also seemed pretty cagey about making any forecasts for the industry's and the nation's economic recovery.

For more:
- Forbes has this story

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