RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — Several longtime Cisco executives based in the Triangle have taken the company up on its early retirement program.

Among them: Tom Flaherty, who worked at Cisco for a collective 20 years, most recently as partner operations manager, Service Provider Technology Partners.

“Yes, I qualified for an early retirement offer based on my age and tenure at the company,” he confirmed to WRAL TechWire on Friday.

He added: “I feel good about it. I’m appreciative of the way that Cisco is trying to handle delicate situation at workforce reductions in the trying economic climate exacerbated by the global impact of COVID-19.”

Jim Parker, a Cisco employee for 23 years and distribution manager for 13 years, is also on the list, as reported by CRN.

Parker was unavailable to confirm or comment.

The company operates one of its largest corporate campuses in RTP with several thousand employees. It remains unclear how this workforce is being affected.

The two cases of early retirements, however, appear to be just the tip of the iceberg.

On online forums like and Blind, freshly sacked employees have been confirming reports that early retirement offers and layoffs are currently being doled out across geographies.

As one anonymous contributor confirmed on on Thursday: “Got the notice today. Literally every team in SJ TAC, besides 2 (newest techs, fill-in-the-blank), has been LR’d. All managers, including the 2 teams that stayed, have also been LR’d. SJ workforce moving to outsourced support.”

It comes nearly two months after Cisco Systems announced a large-scale restructuring plan that would cut more than $1 billion in costs in the wake of financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

A spokesperson for Cisco wouldn‘t confirm numbers or respond to numerous email requests for comment.

CRN reported the early retirement program was voluntary, and only open to eligible employees.

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said in August that the early retirement program will help align the company around emerging priority areas.

“We‘re going to re-balance our R&D investments to focus on key areas that will position us well for the future,” Robbins said.

He cited cloud security and cloud collaboration, as well as developing solutions for education and healthcare.

As of July 25, Cisco had 77,500 employees globally, according to a recent SEC filing.

Cisco remains mum on layoffs as employees flock online to confirm reports