Editor’s note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and cofunder of WRAL TechWire.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Inside Cisco there’s a lot of talk about “the Layoff.” But Cisco refuses to talk in any detail about job cuts and other moves that CEO Chuck Robbins has ordered during the pandemic.
And it’s obvious from reading posts at TheLayoff.com that employees are not hearing a great deal themselves – unless they are thrown overboard and handed a severence package.
Hoefully that will change today.
Thursday is earnings day for Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) and there’s been a great deal of commentary from analysts about what to expect. However there’s no discussion about the job cuts the tech giant has made recently as part of a big cost-cutting program.
But … some fear the worst.
“I fully expect another sh–ty earnings and more excuses from ELT while they lay off more folks. The ride has only begun,” reads one post, referring to Executive Leadership Team.
The cuts and lack of clarity has triggered a good deal of grumbling.
“Worst ELT mgmt ever” is a comment in one thread.
That’s not good news to hear from Robbins, a UNC-CH graduate, who has turned the company inside out in his five-year tenure.
Another term in active use: LR, which is short for “limited restructuring.”
“The morale hits the bottom after LR,” a poster wrote.
“It has been a mess from operations, engineering, IT, to Sales. Some areas report that they have to cover more with fewer people. Some support groups completely ignore requests. Then operations try to delay the execution as much as they can. The morale has hit a new low. Do you see the same?”
A respondent to that question says:
“Now the delivery schedule is the same before the Layoff. The workload is almost double. It is no way we can deliver high quality product. Even though I stay, I decide to move on when the economy is coming back. Cisco is so toxic this day and the upper management DON’T CARE about people and treat them like dirt. Sorry for our loyal customers. Very soon, our loyal fans will go for our competitors one by one.”
Deja vu, IBM
These comments read a great deal like what IBMers wrote back in the day about “resource actions.” The same term for layoffs was picked up at Lenovo after it bought IBM’s PC and x86 server groups.
Early retirement buyouts also have taken a toll on long-term employees, including some in the Triangle where Cisco runs one of its biggest campuses.
Robbins warned in August that custs were coming, noting that 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 for more specifics … here’s what Cisco has said beyond Robbins’ comments:
“Over the coming weeks and months, Cisco will increase our investments in key business areas that will drive customer satisfaction and partner profitability going forward and reduce investments in others. We will be restructuring parts of our business as a result,” she wrote.
“Our employees are our priority and we are committed to providing our full support to those transitioning to new roles or teams within Cisco or leaving the company. Where possible, we will offer employees options that enable them to make decisions that best suit their career goals and personal circumstances.”
Will more be said today? If the right questions are asked, perhaps …