Outgoing Cisco CEO John Chambers spoke with FOX Business Network’s (FBN) Liz Claman about Salesforce (CRM) and the potential AT&T/DirecTV merger. Chambers commented on Salesforce saying, “This industry is going to consolidate” and that Salesforce is “an asset a lot of people would love to have access to in terms of the direction.” When asked what a failed AT&T/DirecTV merger means for Cisco (CSCO), Chambers said, “We will do fine either way these transactions go” and that “my own view is that the DirecTV/AT&T move is a good move and should be improved.”
“This industry is going to consolidate, even though it’s going to be in a period of growth for a decade you’re going to see the consolidation of the top IT players. I said this for quite a while. The top, let’s say six, only three of us will be major players five years from now and so it will be a combination of consolidation and musical chairs and I think what you’re seeing with a world class company like Salesforce is they’re an asset a lot of people would love to have access to in terms of the direction. Mark Benioff the head of Salesforce is a really good guy. He was on my board for two years and he’s a personal friend.”
On what a failed AT&T/DirecTV merger means to Cisco
“We will do fine either way these transactions go. Whether it’s Time Warner with Comcast (CMCSA), whether it’s Deutsche Telekom with one of the players that pursed them, whether it’s AT&T (T) or DirecTV (DTV). I personally believe you need about three to four competitors and that’s all you really need in a market place that will allow enough competition, so that we as consumers get very good prices, but also provide them with the capability to make money so they can invest in the future. So my own view is that the DirecTV/AT&T move is a good move and should be improved, but I had the same view about Comcast and Time Warner. I think we have to be very careful.”
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