Cisco VP Threatens To Stalk Memo Leaker… Driving More Attention Than Original Memo

from the yeah,-not-smart dept

Internal memos from large companies leak all the time. It happens. Companies don’t like it, but most learn to deal with it. Sometimes, they go a bit nuts. For example, you may remember the spying scandal at HP, in which the board tried to stop leaks by spying on phone records and other info, including trying to spy on various journalists. Apparently some companies just go a bit nutty when they think they have someone to track down, where execs suddenly think they can act like they’re in some sort of spy movie. Apparently this is now happening at Cisco as well. A few weeks ago, Network World reported on Cal State’s decision to use Alcatel-Lucent instead of Cisco, claiming that it saved the university $100 million. As is fairly typical at companies when such bad news is in the press, an internal memo was sent around on how to respond to questions about this story. And… as is fairly typical at such companies, the internal memo leaked to bloggers who posted it. The memo itself is fairly tame and about what you’d expect given the situation.

But… then, apparently, a VP at Cisco, Mike Quinn, got upset about the leak… and proceeded to send out an angry email telling the leaker to resign, and saying if he doesn’t resign, that “finding you is now my hobby.” And, of course, that new letter leaked to the same sources:

This is an open response to the person(s) that sent our internal confidential memo regarding the RFP response noted in the Subject line. I want to advise you that no matter the color of your badge (blue or red), the years of service and or your CPC rating you have decided to violate the Code of Business Conduct. The company in response to a number of requests to share internally what our RFP contained once again is insulted by the lack of respect for the business and “family” internal to Cisco. The person or persons whom felt it was cool or correct to share this internal memo should now have the intestinal fortitude to stand up and admit that they did this, then resign.

I want you to remember that Cisco puts the groceries on your table every two weeks, not Brad Reese or other Slander Sheet Journalists. That you disrespected everyone else at Cisco. Now I know you do not have it in you to stand up and admit what you did, so I will now make you my “hobby.” Ask around you will find out that I like to work on my hobbies.

Mike Quinn Vice President – Services Cisco Systems

And, if that doesn’t sound quite threatening enough, people quickly pointed out that in the distant past, Quinn worked for the CIA.

The amazing thing about all of this is that all it’s done is call much more attention to the whole thing. If they’d just let that initial leak go, it would have been mostly forgotten in a few days and people would have moved on. But now because someone went on a power trip, it’s right back in the news again.

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Companies: cisco

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Comments on “Cisco VP Threatens To Stalk Memo Leaker… Driving More Attention Than Original Memo”

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Michael (profile) says:

New hobby

“finding you is now my hobby.”

What was his old hobby? Is moving on to a new hobby going to put the people supporting his old hobby out of business? He is a hobby pirate! This is going to cost us lost hobby sales, and we all know that these lost sales only hurt the little guy – like the poor guy that works the register at the hobby shop.

We need legislation to prevent this kind of thing.

Anonymous Coward says:

I had not even heard about this until now. Why does this VP care so much? We all know Cisco is expensive and so a leaked RFP stating as much is no surprise. Reading this just makes Mike Quinn seem petty and I hope HR has a talk to him about creating an unsafe workplace. I imagine his message would have gotten someone lower than a VP fired pretty quickly.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

> It’s called workplace harrassment

How in the hell has explaining to an employee the consequences for failing to do his/her job become ‘harassment’?

> In addition, there could be severe laws
> against that in your state

Please cite me a state law which makes it a crime to tell an employee you’re going to fire them if they don’t get with the program.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Intelligence

Perhaps Cisco has something to hide. If you’ve ever seen their commercials, it looks as they’re helping to empower and expand a police/surveillance state.

There’s nothing good about any of this.

In my opinion, data-hoarding companies such as Cisco, IBM and others present a major threat to our rights and privacy. IBM already has proven this with their infamous Hollerith machines which were used in Nazi concentration camps to number and identify Jews. They are also involved in developing RDIF technology which would be used to track people like cattle.

out_of_the_blue says:

Unionize now!

It’s one of the few effective measures against corporate execs rabid with power. — Yes, of course you then get other problems like union officials going crazy with power. Just take power-mad for granted — from janitor on up — and try to set all with power against others: it’s called checks and balances, and that’s why tri-part gov’t in the US Constitution.

Anyhoo, point is that an individual has no chance up against a corporate entity; they always have elements specifically tasked with vengeance. I think Mike finds this newsworthy because his view of corporations is always of fair-handed and reasonable, so he’s constantly surprised at instances of reality.

Travis (profile) says:

Not on the list of best employers to work for...

With that kind of attitude from the management I would never want to work for Cisco. Yes, their business might put food on the employee’s tables, but also – without their employees they don’t have a business for very long.

There had to have been a much better way to handle this than all this blustering and threatening.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Not on the list of best employers to work for...

If there is only one, then he’ll either issue an apology or be canned.

If he’s not canned and not forced to apologize, then his behaviour is being condoned by others, which means that there is more than one exec who shouldn’t be there, at which point it’s not a mistake to tar the whole company for it.

alldone says:

Yeah it's a great idea to hire...

Former CIA goons and not expect them to eventually break past the barrier of ‘normal’ they portray to fit into society.

This nutjob will cause far more problems for Cisco, and their ‘family’ than any whistle-blower could.

What’s next for the offenders Quinn? waterboar….er rather company interrogation?

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