Cisco ‘to fire up to 20% of workforce’: report

Alan Burkitt-Gray
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US report says Cisco will lay off 9,000 to 14,000 of its staff, as company prepares for software-defined future

Cisco Systems is to lay off between 9,000 and 14,000 of its staff, according to an overnight report in US-based newsletter CRN. At the top end of the estimate that would represent 20% of Cisco’s employees.

Cisco refused to comment on the report, said CRN, which attributed the layoffs to the industry’s move from hardware to a software-based future. Cisco is due to announce its annual results this afternoon Californian time.

CRN said it had “multiple sources close to the company” and cited one as saying: “They need different skill sets for the software-defined future than they used to have … In theory the addressable market could be higher and margins richer, but it will take some time to make this transition.”

It is not the first time that warnings have been issued about layoffs at Cisco. In January a Wall Street analyst, Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research, also said that 14,000 people would be cut in 2016, CRN points out.

In November 2015 Cisco and Ericsson announced “a global business and technology partnership to create the networks of the future” but said they had no current plans to merge. In July 2016 Ericsson fired its CEO, Hans Vestberg, after the company reported falling sales.