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By eweek  |  Posted 2003-04-14 Print this article Print

Chambers: Were very honored that the people who have taken a look at the product view it as a very hot product. It would be naïve to say well be the leader before theres broad customer acceptance. Do I think we have the potential to be the leader? Absolutely. But the customers get 100 percent of the vote here. Well have a good idea by the Fall on that. Weve already acquired partners in IBM, HP and Hitachi, and well see about EMC. Who would have said Cisco could have even been a player in storage two years ago, much less saying well be the leader?
Were off to a good start, and its now about execution. But it would not be constructive or good behavior for me to call it now. Do I like where we are positioned? Oh yeah!
eWEEK: One of your competitors, 3Com, has been working with the Chinese company HuaWei, a company that you are suing. Could you comment on that suit and how you see China as a market and a place to do manufacturing? Chambers: First, Ive been doing business in China for 18 years, always very profitably and with good relations with Chinese customers and the government. I was the only non-Chinese to be in charge of that market for Dr. An Wang at Wang Laboratories, and I did one of the first joint ventures there. The Chinese market will be the fastest growing economy for the next two decades and may become the number one economy. They are turning out more engineers than we are here in the U.S. In terms of manufacturing support and engineering, we moved a large part of our manufacturing there a long time ago. We have strong relationships with customers there. In terms of the suit against HuaWei, weve never sued a company before. There have been lots of companies that have crossed the line, and weve been able to work it out with them. We dont use litigation as a way of slowing down a competitor but only as a last resort after all else has failed. All we want is a level playing field. That is not intellectual property misuse. And competition or creativity is not copying. HuaWei, in its comments has said that it probably crossed the line here and theyre going to fix it. 3Com is a good company, I would be surprised and disappointed if they ever got involved in a situation that was not very upfront in terms of intellectual property and copyright protection issues. eWEEK: You mentioned An Wang. Is there a leader you emulate? Chambers: I think you learn from everybody you touch in life. I learn from every customer, from many different people, and I admire Dr. An Wang tremendously. Hes the smartest man Ive ever met in my life, bar none, and one of the kindest and most gentle people. My dad is someone Id like to emulate. I have pride in what he was able to accomplish, and he is my best friend. More eWEEK Interviews:
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