Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated August 26, 2014
Updated August 26, 2014
4,991 Reviews

3.6
4,991 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Cisco Systems Chairman & CEO John T. Chambers
John T. Chambers
3,588 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

546 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Cisco on down trend

    • 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 5 years

    Pros

    No pros anymore. Used to be a great place to work now people leave left and right.

    Cons

    Lost direction, great people including high executives leave the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on employees not executives bonuses and perks.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Started off great, turned into a nightmare of a company after 2008!

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

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

    Pros

    Your peers are amazing
    You typically get paid well
    Working from home is fantastic if you can do it

    Cons

    Politics are horrible here.
    Severe lack of leadership abilities at the Director and VP level.
    A very caustic work environment, where the quality of what you do rarely matters, what matters is who you have sucked up to in the last year.
    Almost 90 percent of leaders are just typical MBA "yes" people.
    Lots of Directors kissing up to VP's and not telling the truth about their business.
    Power-point insanity, plus useless meetings all day everyday is typical of how your time is wasted as a leader.
    Horrible, manipulative Directors and VP's ruined the entire company after 2008.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Lay off all dead wood at Director and VP levels, and start your leadership team over from scratch. It's too late in the life-cycle of this dying company to do anything but the most drastic of leadership changes! I predict that its too late for them anyways, since I have not seen good leaders at this company in years now. Product lines are dying because of lack of leadership! Some day, someone will be writing a book about the tragedy that Cisco became. It will be used to teach MBA candidates what NOT TO DO as business leaders.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Poorly managed

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

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

    Pros

    If you get a good boss, and a good team, there is flexibility when working in some groups within Cisco to sometimes work from home and telecommute, and there is a heavy push to have things as automated as possible, so the main thing you will excel at, with this company, is automation.

    Cons

    Cisco has the worst HR dept. and people management of any company I have seen. Cisco tells management to suppress promotions and raises, and to tell employees that they should broaden their skill sets and background, rather than move up, regardless of how very broad your background may already be. Ranking and salaries of employees are determined before written reviews. Cisco rotates it's management and executive team so frequently (i.e. every 3 months - 9 months), that they never seem to know what they are managing, and make extremely uninformed decisions on it's programs, projects, & people. Quality of work is not valued, since the management frequently don't understand what they are managing. Cisco is pushing to have most employees in a "hotelling environment", where you do not have a permanent desk, but must carry your laptop, files, and belongings with you, and find a space to work every day, and if you actually physically attend a meeting, expect to find your work space gone when you return. Extremely unproductive environment to work. Even the parking lot can become completely full, so you have no where to park.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reviews of employees should mean something and should actually motivate, inspire, and give clear direction to employees. The standard "We need to make you more visible" is not an acceptable reason for constantly suppressing promotions and raises. Constant rotation of management and execs. ensures that management does not understand what they are managing, and again suppresses employees career progression. The hotelling environment (i.e. McCarthy Ranch buildings) are extremely unproductive; there are not enough work spaces, and much time is wasted trying to find a space to work or to call into a meeting. That type of environment is great for visitors or people rarely in the office, but not for those who need to be there all day and for those needing to attend frequent meetings, and then be able to have somewhere to work inbetween. Evaluate the growth of the company, compared to the growth of the employees salaries who have been driving that growth over the years. It is very disparate.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Not a great place for young people

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

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

    Pros

    Stable, and supported rotations for individuals

    Cons

    Too big, and not mobile. Silo-ed work and young people do not grow here (at least not in the finance side of things)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more creative and agile in your methods and business

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Not great

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Hardware Test Engineer Co-op  in  San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Hardware Test Engineer Co-op in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Cisco Systems as an intern for more than a year

    Pros

    fairly easy work load.
    some smart peopel to help you learn.
    friendly work enviorment

    Cons

    Way to segregated! All software engineers are indian, all hardware engineers are vietnamese, and mechanical engineers are white. In my team of over 40, were 99% vietnamese.

    POOOOOOOOR ENGLISH, sure I have bad grammer and spelling but everyone here talked like they just came off a boat.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire people that know how to speak, and diversify a little!

    Doesn't Recommend
  7.  

    Use to be a good Company to Work For

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

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

    Pros

    Great Opportunity Growth. Management dictates your growth

    Cons

    Layoffs. Very Slow Company. You get as much as you put in.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    program manager

    • 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

    Pros

    good benefits package. decent approach/attitude about training.

    Cons

    political, political, political

    everyone consumed with managing upward and no one wants to hear about the challenges at the operational level.

    remote worker opportunities severely limited.

    stock is dead money. sadly Cisco makes boatloads of money every quarter but the stock is abysmal and can't even track the market.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    get a clue

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    incompetent senior management, cronyism, nepotism, too many crooks

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

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    medical benefit, if you can be dishonest, it could be a best place.

    Cons

    incompetent senior management, more crooks than leaders. no respect for ICs(engineers, senior engineers, technical leaders), VPs and Directors have dubious distinctions of being cheat, thug, and for sure having no ethics.
    FYI; I work in switching group.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Half of the VPs, SVPs, Directors must be fired.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Everything depends on your BU, some are great tohers awful, but the inter-BU rivalries have created corporate feudalism.

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

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

    Pros

    Tremendous opportunities to learn everything about networks, hardware & software.

    Cons

    Constant emphasized budgets & the corporate watchword of Frugality cheapens all aspects of the culture. They have acquired so many startups & other internet companies, some that don't even compete with them, in robber baron style that they've become the poster boys for job killers vs. job creators with a top-heavy elite upper management who reap a huge disproportionate amount of the profits in bloated bonuses. They are failing to integrate all their acquisitions into Cisaco, & most acquired companies evaporate with huge layoffs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reforms are required when ineffective project mgrs. spend all their team in meetings & posturing for upper mgmt. while worker bees & contractors work 60-hr. weeks. Too many offshored jobs, metrics & cost-cutting measures hampering efficiency instead of effecting it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Too Much Politics - no advancement by achievement

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

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Access to some of the best talent in the industry, authors of original RFCs, and truly innovative people.

    Cons

    The best talent is sidelined or diluted by tons of fat in middle management. Incentive system drives people to act in their own self interest, not necessarily the interests of the company at all. Resembles a huge cartel where if you are new or dont know anyone, you are screwed. Literally impossible to get promoted.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    No use giving much advice as no one is listening and it is beyond correction in a day or with one advice. Needs a wholesale change. No other way.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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