Cisco Systems

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Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated Jul 30, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.5 4,631 reviews

74% Approve of the CEO

Cisco Systems Chairman & CEO John T. Chambers

John T. Chambers

(3,305 ratings)

75% of employees recommend this company to a friend

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
500 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Would rather be homeless - expect continued flat growth

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Research Triangle Park, NC

    ProsSome good people work here. They can be very supportive, freely share expertise, information, and are excellent problem solvers.

    ConsManagement is mostly clueless, and cronyism is rampant. It's more about personal relationships than actual ability. It's about the personal bottom line, and 98% of management cannot handle constructive criticism. This is killing company growth and profitability.

    Too many people who take credit for, and are awarded for, the work of others.

    Watch your back, who you share information with, and be aware and wary of those who view you as a threat to their desire for recognition and upward mobility.

    Always have a powerful rabbi. Preferably in the Sr. VP range to provide protection from the Director level.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGrow up. Put your egos in check. Learn where the optimal value is coming from. Quit promoting based on who you personally likes (ie the guy who toots your horn), and promote based on the real measurable value an IC delivers.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Low job satisfaction

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsReally good health coverage. Flexibility from working from home or in the office. Since Cisco has been doing better, they have started to encourage more sponsored social activities. Management says what you put in is what you get, but unless what you put in can be put into some sort of tool to be tracked, no one will notice.

    ConsThere is a lot of "red tape" to do anything innovative. There is no experimentation. Even though working from home is an easy option to do, work life balance is dis satisfactory.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Software developer for WebEx

    Software Architect (Former Employee) Santa Clara, CA

    ProsI mainly because I knew my hiring manager but there is not much positive points I can give

    Consbuild products without much thought about what would be useful
    very political
    Large offshore team in China with a lot of politics and very hard to communicate

    Advice to Senior ManagementDon't waste time and money on projects which do not have real world impact. Don't assume you can just throw a hundred engineers at a problem and build a quality product

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Decent stable large company - corporate leaders are excellent

    Senior Product Manager (Current Employee) San Jose, CA

    ProsGreat Work Life balance. Professional and polite mostly

    ConsLack of diversity. Talent rarely sticks around.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Becoming too much like an "Old School" company, going to loose talent to competition and "fun" and "Nimble" start-ups

    Senior Manager (Current Employee) San Jose, CA

    ProsGood pay and benefits for the work, decent benefits, global footprint and global leader in it's space (for now)

    ConsLimited promotions or opportunities to advance. Nearly impossible to have lateral movement due to limits on req's. Constant cost cutting puts more work on all employees without de-prioritizing other area's. Every year IC's expected to do more with less. Upper management disconnected with the lower ranks, making a Managers job extremely difficult with limited tools to develop and motivate teams. While rewards is said to be based on performance, in actuality it is based purely on the "short term" and what was done for execs close to the performance review period and not on overall success factors and full year performance.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWe are becoming a culture of managing by spreadsheets and metrics and have lost the aspect of "fun". We have a broken performance review process, forcing everyone to worry about their own performance and not success as a team. Performance is not connect to Pulse and Manager feedback at all, and only on "execution at al costs". Too much bureaucracy and lack of focus to retain top talent. A true disappointment as we have fallen and lost our fun, energetic and working together culture that we had up until 2007.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Stuck in the appliance era.

    Senior Director (Former Employee) San Jose, CA

    ProsGreat salaries and benefits. Good training. Lot's of customer interaction.

    ConsThe longer you stay, the more you are left behind in the valley. People who execute are lower in the status than people who talk without substance. Everyone is scared to make a stand.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWake up, the appliance era ended with software, then cloud took over software. Hire some cloud execs to move the company forward.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    A sweatshop; work/life balance is 100% work no life.

    Consulting Systems Engineer (Former Employee) Herndon, VA

    ProsYou get to work on cool technology but it comes at a huge price. Despite the 20-word minimum, it is extremely difficult to come up with 20 positive words to describe this hellhole.

    ConsThere is no work/life balance. Cisco is like the Borg. You are assimilated into a culture of work at a sweatshop pace. Those who do their 40 and met all job expectations are "managed out of the business." First level managers are promoted based on who they know. Supervisors lack management experience and management philosophy changes every time the wind blows. Lots of back-stabbing SE managers who only look out for #1. Constant morale improvement efforts (mandatory fun). Morale is low.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHire experience managers who listen to their staff

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Long time employee, in the end, disappointing

    Program Manager (Former Employee) San Jose, CA

    ProsHealth benefits, on site daycare and healthcare.

    ConsPoor Leadership, continuous cost cutting and culture erosion over time. Projects kick off but are rarely completed. Tons of outsourcing and laying off of people to rehire the same job in low cost areas. Way too much Power Point and too little leadership. People are promoted for managing up vs. enabling their teams and doing the right thing for Cisco and the customer. It is incredibly political and you don't know when or if you will be laid off if your not in with the right people. I finally quit after working there for over a decade.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop promoting people that put together power point presentations and talk, talk, talk. Promote innovators, true leaders that have integrity and will lead and mentor their teams. This poor management style has spread like a weed throughout the company, and it's just sad.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Software Intern

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) San Jose, CA

    Prospossibilities to learn are many

    Consfrequent layoffs and less value to employees

    Advice to Senior Managementorganize teams into smaller units for higher visibility

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Confusing, management does not know what to do one year to the next.

    Account Manager (Current Employee) Herndon, VA

    ProsGood products, good benefits, great talent.

    ConsManagement has lost touch with reality. Goals are becoming unattainable. Politics galore!!

    Advice to Senior ManagementQuit, it needs to be like the Senate, there need to be term limits on management here, lost touch with what the customers really want.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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