Cisco responds as fresh layoff reports mount

Dozens of former and current Cisco employees flooded social media with claims of internal layoffs announced this week, which the company now says are part of a restructuring plan announced last November.

Whispers of imminent layoffs circulated on Blind, a messaging board site, as early as last week. Last Wednesday one Blind post said, “My friend who is in higher management confirmed [layoffs]. I am scared.”

This week a deluge of posts came in claiming the rumors are true. A Cisco Principal Engineer, Lawrence ("LJ") Wobker, on LinkedIn wrote: “Today is layoff day here at Cisco — or at the very least it’s layoff day for several of my friends and coworkers.”

“Some will happily take what traditionally have been good packages and move on without too much angst, but many will not,” Wobker added.

It is still unclear how many employees may have been laid off or in what departments. However, a wave of posts, which appeared on this week offered some clues.

One post claimed Cisco employees working in datacenter and security were impacted the most. “Security (SBG) Data Center (ACI - most impact) TAC (Including Bangalore team) Most IT support in India All BU contractors reduced Will further continue, be prepared,” the post said.

According to a separate comment, “Many US-based directors gone. DC is a growth market (ask Arista) yet Cisco is cutting knowledge loose,” while another commenter countered, “No, I think Collab China engineering is impacted the most this time (over 400 people).”

Much of the online angst seems especially pointed at Cisco leadership.

One user simply posted the URL link to a January interview with Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, in which Robbins said the company didn’t “have any further job cuts planned” following the layoff of 4,100 employees announced in November.

The layoffs in November were part of a $600M restructuring plan. Cisco similarly implemented a restructuring plan in mid-2020 which included a substantial number of layoffs.

One person on the site, who said they had “just got axed after being a top performer for many, many years,” outlined the exit options they were given on Monday, including an early exit option on August 31 or a standard exit option on October, 16, although Fierce cannot confirm whether these dates are accurate. 

7/19/2023 9:56 pm ET: After publication Cisco confirmed there was a round of layoffs this week but stated they were part of the 4,100 job cuts it had previously announced in November. The company did not detail how many employees or what kinds of positions were impacted this week. Cisco’s full statement is below: 

"These recent notifications are part of the rebalancing effort we began in November 2022, which included a limited restructuring impacting our real estate portfolio and approximately 5% of our workforce. As we announced then, this is not about cost savings as we have roughly the same number of employees as we did before the process began. This rebalancing is about prioritizing investments in our transformation, to meet and exceed our customers' expectations in the changing technology landscape. We will continue to do everything we can to help place affected employees in open roles and offer extensive support including generous severance packages."