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The Register: Cisco's Linux Project a Marriage of Gluttonous Execs

Jul 29, 2002, 16:00 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Thomas C. Greene)

"Many rank-and-file Cisco employees are questioning the ethics of a sweetheart deal in which senior Borg enjoying a leave of absence have sold a skunk-works company, AYR Networks, back to the Collective for a cool $113 million stock swap.

"Under the deal, Cisco common stock will be exchanged for all shares and options of AYR Networks not already owned by Cisco. Previously the company held a 17% stake in AYR, which is no surprise, really, as AYR's CEO, Tom Grennan, was on leave from Cisco while he went about the business of porting Linux to the company's hardware, in particular the Catalyst 6K series.

"According to employees, Grennan and Company (i.e., numerous other Borg engineers on leave) enjoyed office space, work space and phones at Cisco's expense during the project. Were their Cisco options still vested, people wonder? Couldn't the company have done this in the traditional in-house manner and saved a bundle? One employee remarked that the project could have been done by ten people in a year for $10 million. The whole thing stinks of favoritism, especially as, according to several Borg drones, the Linux angle was already being pursued in-house..."

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