Cisco’s Chambers No Longer Earning ‘Historically Low’ Salary

It’s good to be John Chambers.

The longtime CEO of Cisco Systems Inc. saw his pay almost double during the company’s fiscal year 2013, despite ongoing job cuts and decreasing profit margins.

In a regulatory filing this week, Cisco said Chambers’ old pay came in "historically low" compared to that of his peers. The result amounts to a new base salary of $1.1 million for the year ended July 31, up from $375,000.

Chambers also received a $4.7 million cash bonus, up from $3.95 million, and restricted stock valued at $15.2 million, as opposed to $7.35 million in fiscal 2012. Overall, Chambers received $21.1 million in compensation for fiscal 2013, up from $11.7 million the previous year.

The increase comes as the 64-year-old Chambers, who has led Cisco since 1995, has indicated he is ready to retire, perhaps as soon as next year. The higher money for Chambers also comes as tech behemoth Cisco faces intense competition from rivals selling similar products for less money. One of the Cisco’s responses has been to cut jobs. Including the latest round of announced layoffs, Cisco will have axed 12,300 jobs since 2011.

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