Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated June 30, 2015
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Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins
Chuck Robbins
27 Ratings

Pros
  • Work-life balance is the last remaining pro (in 666 reviews)

  • Ability to work from home when needed or desired (in 369 reviews)

Cons
  • Work-life balance is nonexistent (in 184 reviews)

  • BIG company that treats employees as interchangeable (in 170 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

2,489 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (60)

    The grass isn't always greener...

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I decided to wait almost a year after leaving the company before posting a review. The primary reason being is that when you decide to leave an organization it is usually because there is something there that isn't aligning with you or what you want anymore however, the grass is not always greener someplace else. This has been my experience. In fact, the appreciation I have for the company has grown so much in my time away that I would really like to return.

    The company truly believes on promoting within and as an employee you are encouraged to grow your career within the organization and learn new skills by taking different positions. Benefits are excellent. Cisco is the industry leader for networking and now cloud. It is sometimes easy to forget that on the daily grind but you are working for the company that everyone looks to for network and infrastructure standards. Culture within the business units managing product lines give you a lot of freedom to be innovative and creative in your approach to your role. In most cases you are given a fair amount of autonomy and control over how you do your job provided that it aligns with the strategic objectives. Benefits, 401k match, RSUs and ESPP are amazing. And while the salaries aren't the top of the industry, they are above market and pretty competitive.

    Cons

    Cisco can be a machine. There isn't an overt demand for all of your time (even the time outside of work) but more of a subtle, slight encouragement to always be on. If you are not careful, you will live, sleep and eat Cisco 24x7. Don't get me wrong, this is 100% a choice and if you are aware of this subtlety in the culture it is very easy to set appropriate boundaries that will be respected by the company and leadership team.

    If you don't like where you are in Cisco or what you are working on, give it 6 months because you will be reorg'd. While it is sometimes necessary to realign the company to meet competitive threats or market demands, reorganizing the company once a year is excessive and tends to create a distrusting environment for the rank and file which makes being a leader in the organize challenging. There is a loss of momentum and motivation that occurs a few months before and a few months after reorgs so this leaves the company being effective at delivery and execution only about 70% of the time.

    While Cisco attracts some bright, motivated people the truth of the matter is you are either cut out for the company and its culture or you're not. If you aren't it will be painfully obvious to you and those around you. Sadly as a leader it is hard to cut dead weight from the team and the only really accepted way is via layoffs, which is why the company reorgs once a year despite the company line about the reorgs.

    Advice to Management

    In my time at Cisco I was a part of 3 different and distinct business units. I enjoyed working for each of them and found that I was able to contribute value in every role I held. What was painfully obvious to me was that the company is (or was) going through a bit of an identity crisis. Consumer vs no consumer. Social media vs no social media. AWS like cloud offering vs Cisco cloud offering.

    My advice to the leadership team is this. We (Cisco for life) are *Cisco*. *We* develop the standard for networking, infrastructure and cloud. *We* are the industry leaders in our segment. *We* stand a cut above and make no apologies for it. Own being Cisco. We don't need to compete with Apple, Facebook, Google, or Amazon. *We* don't chase our competitors. They chase us.


  2. nice company

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems

    Approves of CEO
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    they have good training for new interns, and people there are very nice and helpful. You can learn a lot from there.

    Cons

    everything is very good, and it was a valuable experience


  3. Good place to work

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

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good working environment.
    Lots of opportunities to learn.
    Well established system through out the company. It's easy for people to focus on their work.

    Cons

    Cisco is slowing down on innovation compare to other SV companies
    Focused on existing market. Cisco is doing well on communication equipment market, but not much else.
    Large company. Needs to go through a lot of red tapes.

    Advice to Management

    Innovate! Innovate! Don't be satisfied with past success!


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  5. Helpful (3)

    Director, Software Engineering

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

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Opportunity to expand your knowledge of networking, lots of internal job movement opportunity. Industry expertise, engineering driven culture. Good pay, stock and bonus, plus full benefits packages.

    Cons

    Nepotism is rampant. Lots of leaders only hire or promote friends. Knowledge and deliverables are secondary in bonus calculations and raise and promotion priorities decisions.

    Advice to Management

    Monitor Sr. Director behaviors more closely with skip level surveys. Use the survey data to drive investigations.


  6. Marketing at Cisco

    Current Employee - Marketing Communications Specialist in Sunnyvale, CA
    Current Employee - Marketing Communications Specialist in Sunnyvale, CA

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Work Life Balance, working from home

    Cons

    large company, slow to change management


  7. Software Engineer

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

    I have been working at Cisco Systems

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Good work life balance. Generally good projects

    Cons

    Not easy to grow career.


  8. good work-life balance but old technologies

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

    I have been working at Cisco Systems

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    work-life balance is very good

    Cons

    have to work on old, outdated technologies.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Good company, but top-heavy and losing innovative capability

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

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great work and live balance, flexible work-from-home arrangements, ample learning opportunities, and surrounded by some great talents...

    Cons

    Top heavy, politics, working environment not great, not enough diversity in employee background, way too many re-orgs due to management changes

    Advice to Management

    Need to improve working environment, especially remote sites; and need to avoid frequent restructuring


  10. Customer Advocacy Specialist

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service Specialist in Raleigh, NC
    Current Employee - Customer Service Specialist in Raleigh, NC

    I have been working at Cisco Systems (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I like the Flexibility and ability to work anywhere

    Cons

    Much of the staff is older unless you're in Sales or Marketing

    Advice to Management

    Great job training leaders to be open minded


  11. HTOM

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

    I have been working at Cisco Systems

    Pros

    Flexibility and virtual office is nice

    Cons

    Huge culture that takes time to adopt



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