Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated September 12, 2014
Updated September 12, 2014
4,878 Reviews
3.6
4,878 Reviews
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Cisco Systems Chairman & CEO John T. Chambers
John T. Chambers
3,447 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good work/life balance (for most) with plenty of tools to help get that done (in 534 reviews)

  • It is very flexible environment where most people can work from home if they desire (in 301 reviews)


Cons
  • No part-time options for professionals wanting work-life balance while raising a family (in 161 reviews)

  • The result is a dilution of culture and a race towards big company mediocrity (in 149 reviews)

More Highlights

530 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    It doesn't live up to the hype.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    It's a well-known company with a decent benefits package. I'm constantly being challenged to learn new things. There are always opportunities to learn, if you dig for them.

    Cons

    Upper management seems to work for a completely different company than I do. The answer to any situation in any climate is to cut headcount. We're making money? Layoffs! We're losing money? Layoffs! Stagnant? It doesn't matter! That might be easier to understand if we didn't constantly buy companies like they're on the candy rack next to the cashier at the supermarket. (Seriously, we average about one acquisition a month.)

    Also, Cisco tends to award bonuses as part of its compensation package instead of pay raises. The amount is roughly equivalent to the amount you might get as a pay raise elsewhere, but pay raises compound over time, where bonuses do not.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Go talk to the people in the trenches once in a while, face-to-face, with no cameras around. And really, truly listen to them. It might give you a better idea of the challenges we're trying to combat out here in the real world.

    Also, it's really tough to keep our morale up when you show such obvious favoritism for our sales force at the expense our development and support team. Some teams have a near-unlimited budget to travel for training and conferences. In my division, our budget is slightly less than $50 per head, per year. Thanks, guys. It's good to know how much you think of me and my colleagues.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Many Years at Cisco

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Account Manager  in  Richardson, TX
    Current Employee - Account Manager in Richardson, TX

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Flexibility to work from home is a tremendous plus.
    Do enjoy working with and for my customers.

    Cons

    Limited opportunities for women in many areas. Cisco talks the talk but doesn't walk the walk. Many older male bosses or leaders pretend to support women in public but in actuality are either disparaging, talk over you or just ignore you.
    Layoffs every year cause panic and discontent.
    No raises - even if you work very hard and accomplish much and your reviews are consistently high, the pay increases are just not there. Better negotiate a good starting pay because spending a long time at Cisco, does not reward strong talent.
    CEO receives an 80% raise yet excellent/outstanding employees are given minimal or no raises.
    Yearly reorganizations but no opportunities. Employees remain in their jobs for years and even decades because there is nowhere to go! Management just shuffles people around and most times, it's difficult to understand their reasoning.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Share the wealth with your employees and treat them well or one day, you'll wake up and realize that you've destroyed a once great company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Low salary, long hours and no

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    time-off policies is good even for new employees.
    Training policy is good. You basically can take any training of your choice as long as it is relevant.
    Depends on your group, life balance can be good or bad.

    Cons

    Salary is low in today's standard and very slow salary increase.
    Promotion is completely depends on your manager and slow. If you are with a bad boss, you are really screwed.
    Upper management is turmoil in the last few years.
    Laying off every year in the last four years so if you are H1b you will not be able to file application for your green card.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in your own people so they can move to new segments and fit into new roles. Laying off people not only harm the people leaving it also harm people staying. Eventually even the most loyal employee will leave.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Lots of potential but bad management.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer III  in  San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer III in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    If you are in Networking field, its one of the best companies to learn the technology.

    Cons

    Bad management. Frequent Lay offs, short term goals, Re-org every 6 months. You will end up debugging more than you develop! Low compensation as compared to other companies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Manage the people properly, else only the people who are old will remain in the company. The atmosphere is not good for young people to join.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Good place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Manager  in  Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Raleigh, NC

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Working from home is a plus, smart employees

    Cons

    too many people in company

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    downsize

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    A lot of re-orgs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer IV  in  San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer IV in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Not sure. A lot of things keeping changing. It's a big company if you like 'big" company.

    Cons

    A lot of re-orgs. not stable. people cannot concentrate on job.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Be prepared to be a small fish in a big pond.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Cisco Systems

    Pros

    Cisco is a big, company that sells boring but necessary technology. This means that they have many domain experts, and you will probably be the youngest out of them.

    Cons

    I interned on one of their bread and butter teams and there wasn't all that much "innovation" happening within that team. Corporate admin encourages innovation with running a contest to see who can be the best "intra"-preneur, which can satisfy some people, who want the stability of working for a BigCo, but also want to think more creatively within their job. I'm not a networks/big corporation guy, and this internship really made me realize it.

  9.  

    Business Analyst

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA

    I worked at Cisco Systems for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Work-life balance is great. Company offer tremendous flexibility for worker with family or needing to telecommute. Great working environment

    Cons

    Job rotation and management is not strong at Cisco. There are a lot of great employees, however limited career development or support from management in this area. Also company is strong in business growth however, stocks remain low and have yet to breakout against competitors

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Company in transition ..... Losing it's talent

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales
    Former Employee - Sales

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Was once a market leader with great innovation pipeline and wonderful , competitive and team oriented culture.

    Cons

    Missed the transition to Cloud and is desperately trying to shift it's application suite to Cloud. Cisco was unwilling to compete with itself or it's overbuilt channel and b/c of that it will need to make some significant headcount reductions and transitions. For all of the resellers out there this will mean Cisco will compete with it's channel in the long run. It has to in order to delver cloud capabilities.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You have built a passive aggressive culture... Listen to your employees, change the culture and reinvigorate your potential. Look for strong leaders who are less focused on self promotion and more focused on recruiting, developing and retaining talent.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    This company has potential but is just not getting it right

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time

    Pros

    flexibility to work from home, good work/life balance

    Cons

    they keep cutting in the wrong places, no room for growth, constant layoff's and restructuring. getting ahead is all about who you know NOT what you actually contribute. they "grade" you on a bell curve and good/strong performers are pushed into the bottom b/c "someone has to be in the bottom".

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Cut middle management, pay your executives less and put that money back into the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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