Is Cisco set to cut 14,000 jobs?

Potential job cuts, management shake up come as Cisco to release year-end results

Industry reports have it that Cisco will soon – possibly as early as today -- cut as many as 14,000 jobs – or about 20% of its 73,000 member workforce.

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According to a report from tech site CRN the cuts emphasize the Cisco’s growing emphasis on software which is requiring staff with a different set of skills, CRN reported. Early retirement plans have already been offered to employees as well.

Others have speculated Cisco would make a sizable cut in its workforce this year giving its growing stable of acquisitions and its shifting software emphasis. Cisco has acquired 15 companies under CEO Chuck Robbins tenure, which is now early into its second year.

Most recently the company bought cloud security firm CloudLock; other cloud-based technology from Synata; network semiconductor technology from Leaba and Software as a Service (SaaS) provider Jasper.

In recent history– the year end earnings report which is expected today -- hasn’t been kind to Cisco employees. The company has laid off a little over 11,000 employees total in late summer reductions since 2012.

Other reports indicate there could also be a further shake-up in management responsibilities as well – though who would be involved in that shake up was unclear, source said. Such moves would follow another big shake up that occurred earlier this year when Four Cisco Systems executives who led “spin-in” ventures that became important parts of the company resigned.

Key engineers Mario Mazzola, Prem Jain and Luca Cafiero, and marketer Soni Jiandani, known as “MPLS” after their first initials, started several companies with Cisco’s backing that later were absorbed back into the networking giant. The companies included Andiamo Networks in storage, Nuova Systems in data-center switching and Insieme Networks in SDN (software-defined networking).

The longtime leaders decided to leave the company on June 17 because of “a disconnect regarding roles, responsibilities and charter” after a new Cisco business unit was announced, according to an internal memo posted Monday by CEO Chuck Robbins and reported by the by the IDG News Service. The move was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Cisco declined to comment on the report.

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