Cisco: And Now the Wake
Not unexpectedly, Cisco announced their immanent intent to lay off roughly 4,000 people in addition to those who took early retirement, as part of making whole a $1B expense reduction, as well as the commitment to streamline the company functioning.
Although the layoffs were not discussed in any of the general Live! sessions, John answered a lot of related questions in the Analyst meeting Q&A session. Not surprisingly, he’s good at painting the positive side of the story (more efficient and responsive company). I tried to get him to explain what this did to the revenue growth plan for the company going forward (remember that original intent of the boards and councils were to accelerate and democratize innovation). He wouldn’t/didn’t reply to that directly, but instead focused on the fact that when growth is lower you can’t spend as much on innovation (true, but leaves open the ultimate question of revenue growth and market valuation).
He suggested that the plans going forward were still in progress, so hopefully a deeper discussion is forthcoming.
One of the tantalizing aspects of the promised layoffs (that will be “operationalized” in the first week of August) is that the ax will come down more on people with VP and higher title (15% decimation). Now we just wait and see who ends up in the sights..