Cisco Develops a Lighter Touch in Acquisitions

Tech giant develops new strategy for new era in takeovers
By Laila Weir,  Newser User
Posted Apr 17, 2008 1:59 PM CDT
A Media Center Extender with DVD by Linksys. Cisco acquired Linksys in 2003, but has left its manufacturing agreements, sales team and well-known brand name intact.   (AP Photo/Linksys)
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(Newser) – Cisco, once famous for swallowing small companies whole and digesting them without leaving a trace of their former brand names (or management), is forging a new acquisition strategy. As it targets new, Internet-based technologies that it’s less familiar with, the company has developed a lighter touch, as evidenced by several recently acquired businesses that operate with much greater independence, reports the Wall Street Journal.

"We can't buy a company and tell it to do as we see fit if we don't have a true understanding of the marketplace," says Cisco's head of business development, who’s directing the new approach. Many see the company’s moves as indicative of the industry overall. Indeed, other big tech companies are trying to maintain growth by making similar moves into Internet-related businesses.