Cisco CEO is the year's 'Chief Obfuscation Champion' -- FT

John Chambers leads the list of corporate bosses deemed to have turned 2012 into a bumper year for "guff, cliché, euphemism and verbal stupidity."

Cisco CEO John Chambers Getty Images
Following in the footsteps of the language purist (and gentle scold) Edwin Newman (also a former CBS and NBC newsman), the Financial Times' Lucy Kellaway had some fun in her column today singling out corporate bosses she found to have a penchant for "guff, cliché, euphemism and verbal stupidity."

The hands-down winner in her list: None other than Cisco's CEO John Chambers, who was deemed to be last year's "Chief Obfuscation Champion":

When I conceived this award a few months ago, I promised it to Angela Ahrendts for writing in her annual report: "In the wholesale channel, Burberry exited doors not aligned with brand status and invested in presentation through both enhanced assortments and dedicated, customised real estate in key doors."

Now, alas, I'm forced to take it away from her and give it to John Chambers instead. Last month he sent out an email to Cisco employees beginning "Team," and ending: "We'll wake the world up and move the planet a little closer to the future." Mr Chambers beats Ms Ahrendts because he has created a concoction of sublime arrogance and cheesiness out of short, household words. He is a well-deserving COC.

No word yet on whether Chambers will be traveling to London to accept the award.

 

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