On August 15 2013, Cisco announced that it would be laying off 5% of its workforce, or about 4000 employees. Some details:
- Cisco Q4 2013 earnings report does not mention layoffs
- Reuters: Cisco cutting 4,000 jobs
- Wall Street Journal: “We just have too much in the middle of the organization,” Mr. Chambers said.
- Techmeme leads with the WSJ story.
“Because we need to continue to accelerate how we capture growth opportunities, we are taking a series of actions such as reducing management layers, prioritizing R&D investments and a workforce reduction affecting about 4,000 employees, or 5 percent of our workforce.”
The Mercury News has a history of Cisco layoffs:
The 4,000 job cuts that Cisco Systems announced Wednesday are the latest in several major staff reductions by the San Jose networking company. Others include:
- July 2012: 1,300 jobs, about 2 percent of its global workforce
- July 2011: 6,500 jobs, 4,400 through layoffs and 2,100 through early retirement packages, representing 9 percent of its global workforce
- February 2009: 2,000 jobs out of a workforce of 66,560
- April 2001: 8,500 jobs, including 6,000 full-time employees and 2,500 contractors
There are more than 5,000 members on LinkedIn of the Cisco Alumni Association; if you are laid off in this round or if you had previously left Cisco, you are welcome to join.
Setting aside the effect of severance packages, etc., it appears that about 5% of the workforce will make about a 100% sacrifice. An alternative would be to invoke an across-the-board pay cut, thereby requiring only a 5% sacrifice of 100% of the workforce.
I’m sure that, once again, the “Early Retirement” package will target older workers with a severance package that is barely better than being laid off. If Cisco was really interested in trimming its work force for economic reasons, these “early out” programs would be offered across the board and not just to older workers. This has more to do with getting rid of more expensive, experienced workers in favor of less experienced and less expensive younger ones. In other words, this is nothing more than a thinly veiled age discrimination attitude, if not an official policy.