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Cisco Systems Layoffs 2020: Job Cuts Amid Global Economic Uncertainty

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Cisco Systems confirmed layoff activity to The Wall Street Journal, but the networking giant did not disclose specific headcount figures involved. The cuts apparently are part of a $300 million restructuring plan that Cisco disclosed earlier this month.

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins in recent quarters has expressed concerns about global economic uncertainty. During a Cisco Partner Summit keynote in November 2019, Robbins outlined multiple challenges facing the company, the economy and humanity. From the U.S. presidential impeachment investigation, to the trade war, to Brexit, to social unrest in South America, the world is facing some big challenges, Robbins noted at the time.

Fast forward to present day, and the coronavirus outbreak represents perhaps the biggest challenge yet -- on both the social and economic fronts.

Still, Cisco continues to make progress on some fronts as it diversifies beyond networking hardware to offer more software and subscription services -- particularly in such areas as security, managed services and SMB partner solutions.

Related: Complete list of 2020 technology industry layoffs.

Cisco Diversifies Revenue Streams

Cisco, which has roughly 75,000 employees, continues to extend beyond hardware -- though hardware R&D certainly remains a core piece of the company's business strategy. Recent milestones include:

There have also been rumors about Cisco potentially acquiring FireEye, but ChannelE2E doubts that chatter because FireEye's business model and revenue mix don't fit Cisco's typical acquisition profile.

Cisco Financial Results, Next Moves

Cisco's latest quarterly results, disclosed February 12, 2020, show that the company remains in business transition.

  • Revenue was $12 billion for Q2 fiscal year 2020, down 4 percent from the corresponding quarter last year.
  • Net income was $2.9 billion for Q2 fiscal year 2020, up 2 percent compared to the corresponding quarter in 2019.
  • The company predicted Q3 fiscal year 2020 revenue would decline 1.5 percent to 3.5 percent compared to Q3 of fiscal year 2019.

Cisco is expected to provide additional business and partner strategy updates during the Cisco Live 2020 conference (May 31-June 4, Las Vegas) and Cisco Partner Summit 2020 (November 4-6, Las Vegas).

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.