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Cisco To Slash Up To 6,000 Jobs -- 8% of Its Workforce -- In "Reorganization"

timothy posted about 2 months ago | from the that's-quite-a-re-org dept.

Businesses 207

alphadogg (971356) writes Cisco Systems will cut as many as 6,000 jobs over the next 12 months, saying it needs to shift resources to growing businesses such as cloud, software and security. The move will be a reorganization rather than a net reduction, the company said. It needs to cut jobs because the product categories where it sees the strongest growth, such as security, require special skills, so it needs to make room for workers in those areas, it said. 'If we don't have the courage to change, if we don't lead the change, we will be left behind,' Chairman and CEO John Chambers said on a conference call.

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While Buying Back $1.5 Billion In Stock (4, Informative)

BradMajors (995624) | about 2 months ago | (#47669813)

Re:While Buying Back $1.5 Billion In Stock (5, Interesting)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | about 2 months ago | (#47670007)

One cannot blame Cisco since, like any company, it will operate at the margin of the law irrespective of the consequences to the national economy. A country's economy is an national strategic asset not a free-for-all playground. Hell, this concept is not anathema to reasonable interpretations of capitalism. A balance must exist between allowing companies to flourish without falling in cannibalism (stakeholder capitalism vs shareholder capitalism kinda thing.)

That balance is lost in this country. Or perhaps it never had it but it was never a problem until globalization and other factors kicked in.

Regardless, this is another reason to tax capital gains the same (or as close) as income. This buy-back (on top of the layoffs) is pretty much a swap from income gains to capital gains which are taxed more favorably.

Or better yet, this is another reason to revamp our entire tax system : close all loopholes (including offshoring ones), lower tax brackets (both capital and income) while broadening the tax base and/or implement a value-added tax, eliminate double taxation, don't penalize companies from moving capital and operations abroad, BUT instead create incentives for *all* companies (national and foreign) to invest locally.

This Cisco thing is just a symptom of a greater malady.

Re:While Buying Back $1.5 Billion In Stock (1, Informative)

Ryanrule (1657199) | about 2 months ago | (#47670235)

"broadening the tax base" is code for tax those poor people more.

Re:While Buying Back $1.5 Billion In Stock (4, Insightful)

aralin (107264) | about 2 months ago | (#47670353)

... so is the value-added tax or sales tax, which hits poor and middle class disproportionately to the percent of income taxed.

Everything hits poor people harder (3, Insightful)

zerofoo (262795) | about 2 months ago | (#47670487)

Poor people also pay a disproportionate part of their income on food, clothing, energy, housing and transportation. Should all of those things be cheaper for poor people as well?

Should I have done an income analysis on my neighborhood and if I found that I was on the low-end of the income spectrum, should I have demanded a lower price on my house simply because I make less than my neighbors?

I understand charity for the poor, but demanding that poor people pay less for everything simply because they are poor defeats the point of a market economy. If you are going to do that, why not go all the way to a state planned economy?

I'll tell you why that sucks. Capitalism, even with all its problems, is the best way to distribute limited resources in a world with unlimited demand.

Re:Everything hits poor people harder (5, Insightful)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 2 months ago | (#47670691)

Poor people also pay a disproportionate part of their income on food, clothing, energy, housing and transportation. Should all of those things be cheaper for poor people as well?

Should I have done an income analysis on my neighborhood and if I found that I was on the low-end of the income spectrum, should I have demanded a lower price on my house simply because I make less than my neighbors?

I understand charity for the poor, but demanding that poor people pay less for everything simply because they are poor defeats the point of a market economy. If you are going to do that, why not go all the way to a state planned economy?

I'll tell you why.

Because a pure 100% ideological solution to anything is a recipe for failure.

Sometimes a capitalistic approach works. Sometimes a socialistic approach works. Sometimes some other approach entirely works.

If you can achieve a good blend, where you take advantages of systems at their strong points and use some better approach at their weak points, you'll be better off than you will if you live in a binary all-or-nothing world. Where you may get the best of an ideology, but you'll pay for it by getting the worst as well.

Re:Everything hits poor people harder (1)

wulfhere (94308) | about 2 months ago | (#47670957)

I wish I had mod points.

Re:Everything hits poor people harder (2, Insightful)

aralin (107264) | about 2 months ago | (#47670715)

You are completely misunderstanding the difference between the taxes, which are decided on by the society and prices, which are decided by the market.

Capitalism has nothing to do with the actual percentages of different taxes that we vote into laws. The poor and middle class are hit by taxes the most proportionately to their means. We cannot expect one group of people to pay 50% of their income in various taxes and fees and another group to pay 15% or less. Our tax system is completely broken and that has very little to do with capitalism, socialism or whatever.

Also, capitalism was great, when the basic resources, like shelter, food, education, healthcare and protection were in shorter supply than the demand. But we live now in society where covering the basic needs of everyone would cost less than 50% of the GDP. A system which leaves some citizens unable to afford to cover their basic needs is not necessary anymore. And since keeping someone without shelter, food, healthcare or education is a choice of the society and not a necessity as it used to be, one can easily argue that such choice is amoral.

Re:Everything hits poor people harder (1)

anmre (2956771) | about 2 months ago | (#47670771)

But poor and middle class people don't pay less, they pay more.

Ever hear of the Social Security tax cap [ssa.gov] ?

The rich who make more than $117,000 annually do not have to pay Social Security taxes on anything earned above that amount despite the fact that every US citizen is expected to draw from the pool. As the rich inevitably get richer, the taxable dollars become fewer.

Please do the logic in your head and tell us how you think that is "the best way to distribute limited resources".

Re:Everything hits poor people harder (1)

OhPlz (168413) | about 2 months ago | (#47670851)

Social Security should be capped. Anyone making more than the cutoff will almost certainly have their own retirement savings plan. Social Security isn't worth anything to them. If you want to have more money when you retire, start saving and investing. It's not Bill Gate's job to pay for your retirement for you.

Re:Everything hits poor people harder (2)

anmre (2956771) | about 2 months ago | (#47670939)

The rich have robust retirement savings accounts AND pull social security once they've turned 65. [dailyfinance.com]

It most definitely is worth something to them, otherwise the cap would not exist.

Re:Everything hits poor people harder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47670989)

But they will still draw from Social Security, no? And if we have a system where you've managed to extract billions of dollars of profit by operating at the fringes of the law (licenses priced by all computers sold, announcing vapor products with unreal launch dates so people would not buy competitors, blatantly trying to close down competition by sending limos to pick up their employees for interviews, using revenues from a monopoly to subsidize other businesses so that competitors can't gain a foothold), then yes Bill Gates needs to fund your retirement because he has taken away potential opportunities from you by targeting his competition through shenanigans, and not through improvement in good or services.

Re:While Buying Back $1.5 Billion In Stock (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 months ago | (#47671069)

... so is the value-added tax or sales tax, which hits poor and middle class disproportionately to the percent of income taxed.

No, it isn't, if you don't tax necessities like food, and tax obvious luxuries like yachts more in proportion.

Re:While Buying Back $1.5 Billion In Stock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47670355)

I have mixed feelings on this.

On the one hand, they are suffering enough.

On the other hand, people with skin in the game tend to care more about what's happening.

Re:While Buying Back $1.5 Billion In Stock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47670359)

Similarly, "...eliminate double taxation, don't penalize companies from moving capital and operations abroad, BUT instead create incentives for *all* companies (national and foreign) to invest locally" is code for tax companies less.

Re:While Buying Back $1.5 Billion In Stock (2, Interesting)

bjdevil66 (583941) | about 2 months ago | (#47670363)

Yes, the rich should be paying more back into the economy (through taxes or spending) instead of hoarding wealth, and the H-1Bs and other outsourcing of costs has to be curtailed.

However, when the poor stop getting earned income credits totaling in the several thousands every year (which goes up with the number of children claimed as dependents), while they don't pay a penny in income tax because they're unemployed for whatever reason, then you'll have a solid argument. Until then, too many of the "poor" are getting a free ride on the backs of bad government policy - and they have no skin in the game. Maybe they need to get rid of their iPhones, stop buying $250 Nikes, and cut their cable to pay some taxes back into the system that's paying for those luxuries.

Re:While Buying Back $1.5 Billion In Stock (5, Insightful)

anmre (2956771) | about 2 months ago | (#47670695)

Oh yea - keep on blaming the poor for being poor! Have you ever lived paycheck-to-paycheck? If not then count your lucky-ducky stars because you are in the minority [cnn.com] of Americans (assuming that you live in the US).

when the poor stop getting earned income credits totaling in the several thousands every year

You're thinking about this in the wrong way. Social safety nets are not about altruism, or even making it easy for the poor to get subsidies (it's not). When poor people lose their jobs, they lose their homes and end up on the streets. When large swaths of the population are homeless, you end up with filthy slums [wikipedia.org] where basic necessities are rare and diseases flourish. Walls, police and even social ostracism may be able to keep undesirable people out of your pristine life, but they won't prevent diseases from spreading from poor communities to the rich who've managed to deny them even a damn toilet to shit in.

Keeping the poor from becoming that poor is a necessity for any civilization. Subsidies for the poor do far more for the common good than tax breaks for the rich.

Re:While Buying Back $1.5 Billion In Stock (4, Insightful)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 2 months ago | (#47670751)

Yes, the rich should be paying more back into the economy (through taxes or spending) instead of hoarding wealth, and the H-1Bs and other outsourcing of costs has to be curtailed.

However, when the poor stop getting earned income credits totaling in the several thousands every year (which goes up with the number of children claimed as dependents), while they don't pay a penny in income tax because they're unemployed for whatever reason, then you'll have a solid argument. Until then, too many of the "poor" are getting a free ride on the backs of bad government policy - and they have no skin in the game. Maybe they need to get rid of their iPhones, stop buying $250 Nikes, and cut their cable to pay some taxes back into the system that's paying for those luxuries.

This is a very emotionally appealing "solution". But notice that these "freeloading poor" are contributing to the economy by buying iPhones, $250 Nikes, and cable. Keeping money in circulation and creating jobs.

On the other hand, how many iPhones, numerically speaking, are 1% of the population going to be buying? How many pairs of Nikes? Probably more that any single poor person, but there are so many poor people. Companies like Cartier may be able to prosper serving only the wealthy, but Apple didn't get to be the behemoth it is by selling solely to the well-to-do, even at Apple's notoriously high prices.

We more or less respect the "idle rich" whose money comes not from working, but from investments, whether direct or inherited.

Maybe we can spare a little love for the "idle poor" as well.

Re:While Buying Back $1.5 Billion In Stock (1)

Great Big Bird (1751616) | about 2 months ago | (#47670381)

But the concept of broadening the tax base is great from a government perspective. The broadening at this point would be better understood as diversifying sources of taxes — so that interruptions in any one area do not affect the whole (unless it is a systematic decline, like a recession).

He's also advocating for tax hikes for the rich (4, Insightful)

zerofoo (262795) | about 2 months ago | (#47670437)

I get that bashing the rich, while pitying the poor, gives everyone a feeling of moral superiority, the parent post did mention taxing capital gains the same as income.

So if you are a rich guy paying 15% tax on your capital gains investments, taxing that as regular income could push the rate well beyond 25%. That's a tax increase or "broadening the tax base".

Taxes should be flat across the spectrum. You shouldn't get a break because you are extremely rich or poor. Besides, a flat tax is naturally progressive. If you make more, you pay more.

Better still, let's not tax income or property. Since all money in the economy is eventually spent, let's simply tax consumption and fund our society that way. Everyone consumes - those that consume less will pay less tax.

Re:He's also advocating for tax hikes for the rich (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 2 months ago | (#47670515)

Better still, let's not tax income or property. Since all money in the economy is eventually spent, let's simply tax consumption and fund our society that way. Everyone consumes - those that consume less will pay less tax.

That might increase the cost of some goods or services beyond the benefit provided by the removal of income tax though. Let's say you're earning 300 euros a week, and being taxed 50 of those. You're fifty euros better off, but the overall doubling or tripling of sales taxes (whatever the different in income tax versus sales tax revenues are) has likely increased your expenditure far more than that. It disproportionately targets the poor while providing huge benefits to the likes of landowners who are renting out their properties, leading to a tremendous concentration of wealth, ie a landowning aristocracy. Plus, taxing consumption retards consumption, and the economy needs consumption.

Re:He's also advocating for tax hikes for the rich (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 2 months ago | (#47670655)

a flat tax is naturally progressive

This is flat out error and wrong. All taxes are regressive, even the ones that "target" the rich. Remember the "Luxury Tax" during the Clinton era? It was short lived because it didn't collect any revenue and cost thousands of jobs or regular people as the rich suddenly stopped buying Luxury Items (boats, planes, limos etc). It didn't hurt the rich, it hurt the people who made stuff for the rich.

It was so bad, so quickly that it was repealed in very short order. You don't hear about it, because it doesn't fit the "Progressive" mantra of "Progressive" taxes.

The fact of the matter is, taxes are a necessary evil, because they are regressive, either intentionally (Cigarette Taxes), or unintentionally (Medical Device Taxes under Obama Care).

Demonize the rich all you want, I don't care. But the moment you try to take from them via "Taxes" you're not going to hurt them at all, you're gonna hurt those that work for the rich. That's the thing about "disposable income", they don't have to use it at all or they can use it to keep more of their own money and avoid taxes, and that always hurts those whose incomes depend on the rich spending that money.

Re:He's also advocating for tax hikes for the rich (1)

anmre (2956771) | about 2 months ago | (#47670863)

It's fine for the rich to "be rich". They can sit on their cash all they want. It's when they want to do something with that cash like buying/selling stocks, moving their operations overseas, or passing their fortunes on to their children, it needs to be taxed. The taxes then go into social welfare programs (which include roads, schools, police) for the betterment of the society which they've used to become rich in the first place.

If they want to take their ball and go home crying, then so be it. Thanks to social safety nets, there will be a robust middle class eager to fill the void. The rich aren't the only ones capable of producing markets!

Re:He's also advocating for tax hikes for the rich (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 months ago | (#47670729)

Taxes should be flat across the spectrum. You shouldn't get a break because you are extremely rich or poor. Besides, a flat tax is naturally progressive. If you make more, you pay more.

A flat tax is only "progressive" if you abuse the word to mean something else and completely ignore how everyone else is using the word progressive.

Here's a letter from the 3rd President of the USA to the 5th President.
Thomas Jefferson to James Madison [uchicago.edu]
28 Oct. 1785

Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise. Whenever there is in any country, uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right. The earth is given as a common stock for man to labour and live on.

That's the author of the Declaration of Independence writing to the "Father of the Constitution" and author of the Bill of Rights.

Better still, let's not tax income or property. Since all money in the economy is eventually spent, let's simply tax consumption and fund our society that way. Everyone consumes - those that consume less will pay less tax.

How did this get modded up.
Everyone has a basic level of consumption: food, water shelter, clothing, transportation.
For the poorest, this basic level of consumption makes up most of their spending.

It's the difference between a 10% tax on 90% of your income or 1% of your income.
That's not progressive, that's not better, that's not fairer.
And the founding fathers thought it was dumb.

Re:While Buying Back $1.5 Billion In Stock (4, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 months ago | (#47670329)

One cannot blame Cisco since, like any company, it will operate at the margin of the law irrespective of the consequences to the national economy.

To be fair, the country screwed them. The NSA's spying has cost Cisco a lot of money. I expect they will try to move more jobs and manufacturing overseas soon.

Re:While Buying Back $1.5 Billion In Stock (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 2 months ago | (#47670557)

Another fine example of "All taxes are regressive".

The people who can least afford taxes, are hit the hardest, while the people who can afford spending money to save even more will. Even when targeting "the rich", it never works out the way people expect.

TAXES are regressive, all of them. Until the left realizes this, we're stuck being turned into serfs unto our government masters.

Re:While Buying Back $1.5 Billion In Stock (3, Insightful)

udachny (2454394) | about 2 months ago | (#47670069)

Like I said [slashdot.org] , companies are borrowing in the USA from money supply inflated by the Fed using their foreign reserves that companies earned and are holding abroad as collateral in order to consolidate ownership and try and beat inflation. The money is borrowed at very low rate of interest due to money not coming from any savings but being brought into existance with Jannet Yellen's magic touch. This is absolutely rational behavior, since the Fed wants to inflate asset bubbles and provides existing large companies with the cash to do it, people do it.

Of-course this misallocation of resources is destroying the dollar, preventing people from making any interest on savings and inflating savings away, which is why senior citizens are working again, in this economy those who want to work are laid off and those who want to retire cannot.

Re:While Buying Back $1.5 Billion In Stock (1)

purpledinoz (573045) | about 2 months ago | (#47670155)

I don't get it. You borrow money for free and buyback your stock at its top. How are they going to pay back this debt, especially if/when the stock tanks? Issue double the amount of shares at half the price? Why not just buy treasuries with the borrowed money and earn risk free interest? Then buyback stock when the stock market tanks.

Re:While Buying Back $1.5 Billion In Stock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47670365)

Stock buybacks are done for two reasons. First, the company believes its own stock is undervalued and so then it's an easy way to make a buck. Second, stock buybacks are often done to manipulate key ratios like EPS and ROA that many unsavy investors might miss.

Re:While Buying Back $1.5 Billion In Stock (3, Informative)

mlts (1038732) | about 2 months ago | (#47670427)

Cisco isn't perfect, but I wouldn't be surprised to see their stock remain strong. IPv6 rollouts, security issues, and future IPv6 items [1] will ensure that existing customers will be buying new equipment.

Cisco also benefits from the fact that fiber channel is getting tossed for FCoE. With FCoE or iSCSI, it just takes one fabric to handle both storage and networking, while FC requires a separate switching network to handle zoning and I/O. With 40gigE around the corner, fiber channel is going to be left in the dust until faster HBAs come in 2016.

Would I consider Cisco stock a "buy"? I'm not going to give investment advice, but I wouldn't consider their stock tanking anytime soon. They are the biggest player in a core industry that isn't going away anytime soon.

[1]: IPv6, while getting deployed, still has yet to go through the real-world torture testing the IPv4 stack went through back in the late 1990s with land, teardrop, ping of death, smurf, and other packet based attacks which would drop machines.

Re:While Buying Back $1.5 Billion In Stock (2)

udachny (2454394) | about 2 months ago | (#47670461)

I already [slashdot.org] explained it here [slashdot.org] , but let's address your specific concern.

When your conclusions stop making sense, challenge your premises. You assume that US debt is risk free and that Cisco stock will tank and that Cisco will have to pay the debt back. Let's examine these assumptions.

You base your assumption that US debt is risk free on the GDP and CPI and other inflation numbers provided to you by the helping hand of the government and some non-government organizations that rate debt (like Moody's, Standard & Poor's, Fitch) but the licenses that these rating agencies hold depend on government allowing these companies to rate sovereign debt (and especially USA debt).

A while back we already talked [slashdot.org] about another rating agency, that had its license to rate US bonds suspended by the government for providing a junk bond rating to the US bonds, Egan Jones. Egan Jones is paid to rate securities by buyers of securities, while Moody's and such are paid by the issuers of securities. So there is first of all huge bias and secondly the entire business model of the rating agencies requires that they do not rate US bonds anything but 'risk free', but in reality US bonds are junk, I talked about it too [slashdot.org] .

The other assumption is that Cisco stock will tank, well, if Cisco is using the borrowed money to consolidate its stock (buy it for itself) then it doesn't have to tank, it actually is going to grow in value relative to the US dollars. With the layoffs, the US operations will be much cheaper for Cisco, US workers are extremely expensive given all of the government labor laws, 'anti-discrimination' laws, taxes and all other regulations.

Finally will Cisco have to pay back the cost of borrowing? Sure, but they do have money off-shore they can use, after all, that's how they are securing these loans. Secondly, they borrow in US dollars and that currency is being devalued on a daily basis. The Fed is making sure that inflation will wipe out Cisco's debt in real terms, and since the interest rates are very low, it won't be much of that they will have to pay back in nominal terms either.

AFAIC Cisco stock is more valuable than sovereign USA bond market. Bonds are a promise to pay US dollars in the future, and AFAIC the dollars are being destroyed, so dollars in the future are also destroyed. The only reason it didn't collapse yet is people like China are not dumping their entire position yet, but they are hedging by buying and mining more and more gold.

Re:While Buying Back $1.5 Billion In Stock (2)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 months ago | (#47670807)

One doesn't really have anything to do with the other.

Those 6,000 jobs aren't in the company's future plans. It would suck to be one of the employees being terminated, but there's no more reason for them to be on the payroll than for Cisco to go out and hire 6,000 buggy whip makers.

As far as buying back the stock, that's a separate decision that probably makes a sense for the company's future. I don't know or care since I don't pay any attention to Cisco.

Because the internet don't need no stinkin routers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47669831)

The cloud will replace routers. Cisco fuk yea.

How much did move to cable/DSL cost Cisco? (2)

swb (14022) | about 2 months ago | (#47670279)

Back ~15 years ago if you wanted Internet access in a business you pretty much had to get a T1 and almost always this connection was terminated with a Cisco router.

Nowadays nearly a lot of business Internet is delivered via DSL or Cable via Ethernet hand-off from some cheap device provided by the ISP. Even at places still using T1s its often a vendor-supplied Adtran.

Did this change cost Cisco much business, or did they just make it up and then some on larger routers at providers, large customers and places willing to pay a premium for Cisco LAN equipment?

Re:How much did move to cable/DSL cost Cisco? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 2 months ago | (#47670731)

Cisco is also way overpriced for what you get. Forget the hardware, it's the contracts that will bleed you dry.

the change, will do us good! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47669837)

thank BAMA! for the CHANGE he promised

Re:the change, will do us good! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47669899)

Thank the NSA for the distrust they created!

Re: the change, will do us good! (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 2 months ago | (#47670339)

I don't think the Crimson Tide had anything to do with this.

A complaint (5, Insightful)

DaMattster (977781) | about 2 months ago | (#47669859)

From the article: “If we don’t have the courage to change, if we don’t lead the change, we will be left behind,” Chairman and CEO John Chambers said on a conference call. In reality, Cisco doesn't have courage at all. If they had courage, they would work to retrain a capable workforce and buck an ever growing trend in employment. By laying off 6,000 people, they are showing cowardice and a lack of confidence in their existing workforce. They would sooner send 6,000 people to the unemployment line then work work with a known, reliable quantity. The move is shortsighted because it costs money to hire someone and the new person must then learn the culture, infrastructure, and the business. Add to it the potential for the starting salary to be higher and any positives from the "courage to change" are negated. Bravo on another epic failure of the corporate world. I would have had more respect for honesty and integrity.

Re:A complaint (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47669937)

Training is impossible because reading is for fags.

Re:A complaint (4, Informative)

geek (5680) | about 2 months ago | (#47670013)

The move is shortsighted because it costs money to hire someone and the new person must then learn the culture, infrastructure, and the business.

No they'll just hire some idiot Indian slave labor and offshore them. Cisco's been at this for over 10 years.

Re:A complaint (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47670195)

ob disc: I work at cisco.

cisco has extremes in terms of talent. some really bad idiots work here (and many products show ugly warts and horrible design, including poor docs) and yet there are some really amazingly smart people here, too.

hiring has clearly been 'hire the cheapest foreign workers we can find'. you can walk the hallways and not hear any english (I'm talking about san jose buildings, here). for an 'american' company, its shameful. clearly, they don't hire the best and brightest, overall; they follow the silly valley standard of cheap h1b's for the most part.

tech support (internal) is the worst I've ever seen. wait times on phones for int support is 15 minutes, min; and you get someone who has such a thick accent, you can't understand them. they can't do much, they waste a lot of time asking dumb questions and it takes forever to get anything done.

cisco should strip more than 10% of its workforce, but I know the reality: they'll strip the higher waged folks and keep the crappy folks around since its cheaper for them and that's mostly what matters, these days.

cisco is also planning on ripping out all the cubicles and going 'open office'. chambers is convinced its 'better' (its not, but its cheaper and they refuse to admit what the real motivation is). everyone I talked to is in fear of this open-office conversion and many will work from home to avoid the noise and distraction, or they'll just give up and quit, which I also heard is part of the unspoken plan.

I recently saw this kind of thing in the router production source code (paraphrased, just to show the concept):

function_a()
{
    FILE f=open(...);
    read(f, ...)
    do_stuff();
    return;
}

not kidding. opened a file inside a routine, did some i/o and then returned. doh! no need to close the file handle? really?? must be a java guy who didn't know how C really works. and yet, this was in production code and no one seemed to have done a code review or even a smoke test! unbelievable!!

like I said, we have really smart people here and some really lame idiots that, somehow, got hired here and are farking up the production code, designs and even the docs. we are just too large and have hired cut-rate 'programmers'. unfortunately, those are the ones that will likely stay and the higher cost, more experienced folks will be told go leave.

Re:A complaint (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47670371)

wait! wut! Are you insinuating that there actually exists a company that has good documentation?! WTF?!

I've worked for many large and small companies and if nothing else they had shit quality documentation(regardless of volume, thanks ISO9000, et. al.), or IOW read nearly useless documentation that was more like a one paragraph summary turned into X pages of BS.

Or maybe you meant in the good old days when you could actually get decent OS/compilers/etc. with some pretty damn deep and awesome manuals but those wen the way of the dinosaur in the 90s... now you're lucky to get an accretion of shit, some of which is useful(because it's the same shit from the 80s and 90s that someone had already documented) buried in the morass of crap that various company(ies) had added in the intervening time period. God help you if it's "new" then you're just SOL.

It's pretty much always been to the point that looking directly at things like source(libraries etc.), config, etc. some implementations is far more productive time usage than wasting it on what passes for "documentation"...

Re: A complaint (1)

smaddox (928261) | about 2 months ago | (#47670559)

I don't work in IT, but poor documentation does seem to be the standard for all of the hardware and software we purchase. The only exceptions are Stanford Research Systems (created by PhDs well versed in publishing methods) and MBE Komponenton (German precision).

Re: A complaint (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 2 months ago | (#47670805)

A java guy who doesn't explicitly close a file isn't much better than a C guy. I knew someone like that, and he left resources hanging loose right and left. And occasionally lost data, since it didn't flush to disk until the file was closed. And maybe not then, if the close was done by the garbage collector.

But Cisco was at the forefront of the cheap offshoring boom. They outsourced support ages ago, then their outsourcers offshored it. Connoiseurs of Cisco support knew which country was going to provide the most helpful people and tried to ensure that their calls got directed there.

Cisco got a lot of its growth through mergers and acquisitions, not direct technical excellence, which is one reason why their stock stalled after they ran out of victims to buy.

Re:A complaint (1)

Great Big Bird (1751616) | about 2 months ago | (#47670405)

In fairness, that 'java guy' has to close it too. The difference is that most Java IDEs will tell you in a warning about it. That is why we have try (Resource r = ...) { .. } style now, where r must be 'autoclosable'.

Re:A complaint (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47670201)

Cisco doesn't have courage at all. If they had courage, they would work to retrain a capable workforce and buck an ever growing trend in employment.

Like what? Open Cisco University and have 3 credit classes on computer security and teach prime factorization theorem to its workforce?

Most of the Cisco ex-employees will probably be very quickly absorbed by other companies anyway. Why would you force someone to do something else and lose the benefit of their experience and turn them into rookies into a new field.

Re:A complaint (1)

bjdevil66 (583941) | about 2 months ago | (#47670399)

If they hire new people back from the same general neighborhoods and they make the same money, then the CEO will have done the right thing. Besides - the bottom 8% of any workforce usually has some serious dead wood in it.

If they don't fill those slots back up to increase quarterly earnings, go overseas to essentially hire the same people back at a fraction of the cost, or say a WORD to Congress about how there's a "major talent shortage" in the USA and call for more H1-Bs, someone needs to go punch that guy in the face.

Re:A complaint (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47670433)

From what I understand, the "culture" at Cisco is crap.

Perhaps that "courage to change" is the courage to de-train 6000 people from crappy corporate culture and let them do something good with their lives.

The next step can be liquidation for all I care.

Re:A complaint (1)

LordWabbit2 (2440804) | about 2 months ago | (#47670535)

Sometimes the 6000 are being laid off because they ARE a known quantity (i.e. lazy or incompetent and hired by mistake)

Re:A complaint (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47670603)

There is no way they needed all those employees. Do you realize what Cisco actually does? It's largely highly automatable. And Cisco isn't exactly producing any revolutionary products either, just refining old designs.

If a company has reached as far as it's owners vision allows, then it should slim down and focus on doing the work more efficiently. Yes, that'll eventually kill the company as new products come along, but that's a good thing if they've no new ideas. Ideally, they'd slim down by reducing the work week and the pay, so that their employees choose to stay and enjoy life or find a more lucrative job elsewhere, but Americas broken healthcare system obstructs that.

Re:A complaint (1)

Moskit (32486) | about 2 months ago | (#47671109)

By laying off 6,000 people, they are showing cowardice and a lack of confidence in their existing workforce. They would sooner send 6,000 people to the unemployment line then work work with a known, reliable quantity.

If you have a hardware design (say, cooling) engineer and whole world moves to the new fancy software networking (say, you need a COBOL programmer), it might not quite work to shift existing person to a completely new area of knowledge.
Part of adapting to new conditions is changing what has to be delivered to customers, instead of trying to keep selling them a hammer just because you have a hammer.

As for "replace people with cheaper people", that's the way capitalism seems to work. This is not even enforced from the top by corporations, but from the bottom by customers, who will buy anything that's cheaper, even if lower quality.
Same thing happened in other industries.

Whether this move is shortsighgted or not, remains to be seen in a year or two, when restructurization effects come into force.

Thanks Edward. (1, Insightful)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 2 months ago | (#47669863)

Sales in foreign markets are plummeting as Cisco suffers the political fallout of being an American-based multinational.

Re:Thanks Edward. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47669887)

I'd heard recently that Syria only will buy Cisco routers from now on.

Re:Thanks Edward. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47670439)

Zing!

Re:Thanks Edward. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47669919)

No, any "thanks" go to the NSA.

Re:Thanks Edward. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47669923)

So that is Snowden's fault? That is the equivalent of a rapist blaming someone who reports a rape for his ruined reputation.

Re:Thanks Edward. (5, Insightful)

DickBreath (207180) | about 2 months ago | (#47670133)

Blaming Snowden for NSA abuses is like blaming Al Gore for Global Warming.

It is shooting the messenger.

If that messenger didn't tell us, some other messenger would have sooner or later. It was inevitable.

People only keep secrets (like global warming) when they feel it is their patriotic duty to do so for love of country. When they see widespread abuse, contrary to the values of a democracy, little or no oversight, and their peers feel the same way, it is inevitable that somebody is going to blow the whistle about global warming. If it hadn't been Snowden, it would have been someone else, eventually. This was never going to stay secret forever.

Re:Thanks Edward. (3, Interesting)

SpzToid (869795) | about 2 months ago | (#47670035)

Not to mention OpenSwitch, which Cisco hasn't exactly embraced: http://arstechnica.com/informa... [arstechnica.com] also: http://arstechnica.com/informa... [arstechnica.com]

The NSA screwed over Cisco in a big way (and other American companies, of course): http://arstechnica.com/tech-po... [arstechnica.com]

Re:Thanks Edward. (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 months ago | (#47670211)

cisco is betting on their onePK SDN strategy; not openflow or any other 'open' switch tech.

no one else has this level of advanced API support (yet). its proprietary but its very rich and capable. time will tell if it catches on or not; but it leaves things like openflow in the dust.

Re:Thanks Edward. (1)

johanw (1001493) | about 2 months ago | (#47670167)

Thank him for saving the rest of the world for buying inferior American-made spyware. This is like blaming a consumer organisation that points out serious flaws in a product.

Re:Thanks Edward. (4, Insightful)

bulled (956533) | about 2 months ago | (#47670219)

The OP title is idiotic, Mr Snowden did not make the decision to backdoor all USA made networking equipment and he certainly didn't force Mr Chambers to accept the NSA's "help".

Re:Thanks Edward. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47670285)

I suppose you blame Ralph Nader for the decline of the American Automobile.

Re:Thanks Edward. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47670943)

Ha Ha shoot the messenger. That will save the day for sure.

Yeah, not due to the NSA fuckups (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47669865)

...and lost of business and trust of the rest of the world.

I have a better idea (4, Interesting)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 months ago | (#47669911)

They need to shift focus on lowering prices and not letting the NSA spy on people.

Re:I have a better idea (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 months ago | (#47670999)

the nsa has nothing to do with this spying stuff. CALEA is at fault and that was put in place decades ago, and forces ALL us companies to install backdoors for, cough, 'law enforcement' use.

its not cisco and its not nsa. in this case, at least.

blame the law enforcement lobby. they keep complaining they don't have enough power or tools, and congress is always afraid to be called 'soft on crime'. that fully explains that.

Sure, sure (2, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 months ago | (#47669939)

Cisco is having sales problems in this depressed economy just like so many other companies due to the inflation (money printing), taxes, regulations, basic lack of freedoms that is preventing new businesses from starting and is causing existing businesses to shrink, outsource or just shut down. In 2014 more businesses shutdown than were started first time probably in history of USA.

There is no recovery, the economy is in a depression being held afloat artificially with all this money counterfeiting by the Fed. The so called recovery is based on bubbles in asset and bond markets, due to all this inflation (money printing). The companies are borrowing huge sums in the USA based on their foreign earnings ( money that was made offshore and remains there due to insane taxes in the US) that are used as the collateral to borrow in the US, so that companies can buy their stock back, pushing up the stock prices and consolidating ownership. Warren Buffet talks US policies of the welfare state and inflation up, while getting rid of the US dollars and buying up assets, like the rail roads and the mines and lands. The US dollar is on its last legs, the population feels worse financially in the so called 'recovery' in 2014 than it felt in 2008, during the peak of the financial crisis. There is no recovery, but there is a huge bubble inflated by the Fed in this depression, hiding the necessary deflation with all this inflation and preventing the real and extremely needed restructuring ( writing off of debts, shutting down most of the government and many of the zombie companies that only exist due to inflation). USA job market is horrible, the new net jobs are part time jobs. Manufacturing is gone, very little is produced and where people are still producing, the government is regulating them to death.

Cisco will probably outsource to China or India if they hire at all. Not like it is easier for them now, afted all the NSA bullshit came out.

Re:Sure, sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47670379)

[[Citation Needed]]

You had me for a second there, but when I cross-checked things, businesses are starting just fine when one looks at public data, and bankruptcies are less than they were back in 2008.

As for 2014 being worse than 2008, that is a bald faced lie. It isn't great, but we are not getting massive dumps of people from businesses in layoffs, and unemployment claims are lower than then.

Easy fix to the economy. The US used to have its primary revenue stream be import tariffs. This should be re-enacted, the income tax dumped, and a VAT system put in place. It is a lot harder to hide a Maybach or a Lear Jet than income.

I love reading your fiction about how the US is fscked and the only thing that can save it is to remove all laws and regulations, returning to the Ayn Rand fantasy land of the late 1800s Gilded age and Standard Oil-like trusts where the government was little more than the enforcement arm for business when the Pinkertons couldn't do the job.

Need to get rid of Americans and bring in more H1B (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47669967)

Need to get rid of Americans and bring in more H1Bs..

Re:Need to get rid of Americans and bring in more (1)

johanw (1001493) | about 2 months ago | (#47670189)

H1B's are less likely to be NSA spies anyway.

Re:Need to get rid of Americans and bring in more (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 2 months ago | (#47670817)

H1B's are less likely to be NSA spies anyway.

Hey, H1B's like money too! How else are they going to earn as much as the people they displaced?

race to the bottom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47670237)

Corporations are people, too! [boingboing.net] .
More privileged [wikipedia.org] people.

Flip Flop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47670005)

"saying it needs to shift resources to growing businesses such as cloud, software and security."

Maybe they should not have killed off that part of their business a few years ago to return to their "True Core" which was hardware.

Slashdotters, do not disappoint me! (1)

macson_g (1551397) | about 2 months ago | (#47670029)

Comments about H1Bs in 3... 2... 1...

Re:Slashdotters, do not disappoint me! (1)

BonThomme (239873) | about 2 months ago | (#47670175)

This has nothing to so with H1-Bs. It about having the courage to lay off your existing employees so you can hire new ones for your jobs that require 'special skills'. You know, special skills...

Re:Slashdotters, do not disappoint me! (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 2 months ago | (#47670841)

You mean "special skills", nudge, nudge, wink, wink? 'Cause they told us that we're all interchangeable cogs and therefore don't deserve to be paid like we had really special skills. As in Upper Management. People who deserve to get paid more for their failures than us cogs get paid for working hard and then being laid off.

Yeah whatever (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47670231)

Cisco will hire a bunch of H1-Bs and offhore their work with the typical BS of "we can't find any qualified Americans" or some other bullshit.

And one day it will be true because the sharp kids are only going for the 'M' in STEM degrees. That is where the opportunities will be in the near future and your career lasts much longer.

Why bust your ass in engineering or CS when you top out at 40, your job has a huge chance of being off-shored and your competing with every Third World nation that can get some cheap ass Dell's?

Re:Yeah whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47670887)

> Cisco will hire a bunch of H1-Bs and offhore their work

Offhore? Is that intentional or just a brilliant typo?

Re:Slashdotters, do not disappoint me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47670259)

Notice all the butthurt in the comments. Next submission about automation costing jobs and they'll be calling regular people "luddites". No sympathy here.

Re:Slashdotters, do not disappoint me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47670451)

Offshore employees don't need H1Bs...

Courage... (2)

Junta (36770) | about 2 months ago | (#47670085)

If we don't have the courage to change

It can be debated as to whether this is a necessary thing or a prudent thing or whatever, but regardless of those debates, this s a pretty stupid thing to say. I don't think a CEO should ever characterize their decision to terminate other people's jobs as 'courageous'. There really isn't anything remotely courageous about any of the strategy he laid out. It's not even particularly bold or daring, it's basically the exact thing every executive of every tech company has been saying about their respective companies now.

Not having much of a horse in the race (not working for cisco or even a cisco client), I can't comment on whether it's the right choice or whatever, but it really rubbed me the wrong way to see him refer to layoffs as an act of courage.

Re:Courage... (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 months ago | (#47670311)

Hey, for all we know, one of the 6000 jobs eliminated in this objective, impartial assessment of Cisco's evolving business needs might be his own, and he will be kicked to the curb. That could happen, right? I mean, he did say "we" need to have courage to lead change. If he were actually exempt, he would have had to say something else, like, "a bunch of you people are about to get buggered."

Re:Courage... (2)

mycroft822 (822167) | about 2 months ago | (#47670337)

I think it must come from some sort of CEO Bullshit Handbook they all get when they start the job. The CEO at my company has been saying this exact same phrase for about 5 years as she continually does rounds of layoffs, while increasing stock buyback and dividends.

Re:Courage... (1)

Junta (36770) | about 2 months ago | (#47670415)

The funny thing in your story is that the word that makes it narrow down the most is the pronoun 'she'. I would guess you either work for HP or IBM. Massive stock buybacks and continual layoffs is the modus operandi of most of the companies, but female ceos are a little bit more rare. Of course they do and say the exact same things so they could all probably replace their CEOs with chatbots that just always says 'buyback some more stock and layoff more people' and no one would notice.

Re:Courage... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47670429)

Maybe you should start a company so you can make those choices?

Re:Courage... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47670411)

The courage to meet the corporate earnings projections expected by Wall Street analysts doesn't have quite the same ring.

You FAiL it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47670103)

Byebye greybeards, hellow headwobblers (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 2 months ago | (#47670141)

Cisco is cutting out the fat (literally) by shuffling out the older, more expensive (salary, 401k, healthcare) employees, so that they can bring in cheap new talent.

Switch to Huawei (1)

johanw (1001493) | about 2 months ago | (#47670163)

In another posting, Huawei announced it has open positions for thousands of experienced people. However, since lie detector tests are required to rout out foreighn spies, US candidates are mostly turned down.

the new plurb for offshoring and using h1bs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47670181)

so firing 6,000 people and hiring 6,000 more. No retraining.

They are moving jobs offshore and bring in visa holders at lower wages to replace Americans.

we need 6000 more H1b's now must be able to work (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 months ago | (#47670187)

we need 6000 more H1b's now must be able to work a min 0f 60 hours a week going up to 80 at times.

hum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47670249)

whats with all this cloud crap in the U.S? the internet sucks shit here it's not like parts of europe where you get to pay $40 for 1gbit up/down connection.

The Only Courage Displayed Here... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47670291)

...is the courage to make a hasty course correction after being caught flat-footed.

What would have been better is if they had been able to have a better vision and work to steer the ship in the direction rather than dropping 8% as ballast in order to cut a corner. I am sure that there are capable folks within those 8% that are dedicated employees that could have made what my seemingly be a rather abrupt transition in their careers had the company announced a long-term plan 18 months ago. Other of that 8% may have been rather happy to begin searching for new jobs.

In related news... (1)

jrumney (197329) | about 2 months ago | (#47670315)

A notable absense of a certain recently hyped technology [slashdot.org] in Cisco's list of things they need to refocus on.

New Cisco Certification (2)

Virtucon (127420) | about 2 months ago | (#47670385)

CCGC - Cisco Certified Got canned.

Courage (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47670653)

There's nothing quite as impressive and personally moving as the courage exhibited by an executive, when taking actions that cost others their jobs, and cost him nothing.

Are employment levels really that stellar? (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | about 2 months ago | (#47670773)

I am in Denver, CO. I am not seeing great improvements in employment here, or anywhere.

Microsoft, and now Cisco, are announcing huge job cuts.

Pay for IT jobs, here in Denver, is way down. Typical pay for PC techs used to be over $20 an hour, now it's usually around $16, sometimes as low as $12. Pay for CISSP certified used to over $100K a year, now it's more like $70K a year.

My wife, and I, are both unemployed, which is very unusual for us. Our friends are unemployed as well. I have one friend who used make $90K a year as a logistics manager, now he works temp jobs on assembly lines, side-by-side with people who have master's degrees in stuff like biotechnology.

Again, I am not sure where they get these stellar employment numbers, all I see is huge layoff, and declining salaries.

Re:Are employment levels really that stellar? (1)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 2 months ago | (#47671043)

They're not. What's happening is that unemployment numbers are down for several reasons:

1. People who aren't looking for work actively aren't counted as unemployed. This accounts for a very large group of people.

2. People who are finding jobs are finding jobs that do not pay well (see: thousands of college graduates getting minimum-wage jobs out of college because nothing else is available).

3. Unemployment numbers do not count people who are underemployed, such as your friend who is working as a temp when he probably wants to be working full-time hours. There are separate (usually much higher) numbers for underemployment.

In reality, the job market is not getting any healthier - people are finding jobs, but they're finding jobs that don't pay.

Shortage of tech workers :P (1)

scamper_22 (1073470) | about 2 months ago | (#47670889)

So I hear there is a shortage of tech workers.
Apparently, we need more education, more IT and engineering grads, more H1B Visa.

This makes total sense considering the massive layoffs we keep hearing about. It's all nicely packaged.

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