Cisco Systems

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  www.cisco.com

Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated December 17, 2014
Updated December 17, 2014
5,419 Reviews
3.6
5,419 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Cisco Systems Chairman & CEO John T. Chambers
John T. Chambers
3,747 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Cisco does a wonderful job of allowing its employees a superb work-life balance (in 666 reviews)

  • It is very flexible environment where most people can work from home if they desire (in 369 reviews)


Cons
  • No part-time options for professionals wanting work-life balance while raising a family (in 184 reviews)

  • If you want some short term real good big company experience it is a good place to be (in 170 reviews)

More Highlights

573 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 6 people found this helpful  

    Would rather be homeless - expect continued flat growth

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Research Triangle Park, NC

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Management 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 ManagementAdvice

    Grow 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Software developer for WebEx

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Architect in Santa Clara, CA
    Former Employee - Software Architect in Santa Clara, CA

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

    build 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 ManagementAdvice

    Don'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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Stuck in the appliance era.

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

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

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 5 people found this helpful  

    Long time employee, in the end, disappointing

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

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

    Pros

    Health benefits, on site daycare and healthcare.

    Cons

    Poor 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 ManagementAdvice

    Stop 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Consulting Systems Engineer in Herndon, VA
    Former Employee - Consulting Systems Engineer in Herndon, VA

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    You 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.

    Cons

    There 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 ManagementAdvice

    Hire experience managers who listen to their staff

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 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

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

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Limited 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 ManagementAdvice

    We 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.

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

    Software Intern

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

    I have been working at Cisco Systems as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    possibilities to learn are many

    Cons

    frequent layoffs and less value to employees

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    organize teams into smaller units for higher visibility

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

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

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

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

    Pros

    Good products, good benefits, great talent.

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Amazing company when it comes to people and technology, but questionable future due to upper management issue.

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

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

    Pros

    Great culture and colleagues, flexibility to work from home, cutting-edge technologies, and great reputation in high-tech market.

    Cons

    Politics and incompetence of upper management, too slow to catch up with market transitions, rash decision for promotions, bing/purge hirings and layoffs are very political and questionable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    John Chambers is a great human being but he needs to step down for fresh blood on board and leadership across, salaries are behind competition despite excellent benefits, Cisco is obsessed with cutting costs but not listening to market transitions quick enough to reverse the staggering stock price.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Not fun being a contractor

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

    I have been working at Cisco Systems as a contractor (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good experience gained, work from home, no crazy hours schedule. Laid-back culture.

    Cons

    Regular employees and upper management treat contractors like expendable second-class citizens. Takes a long time to get anything done. Very disorganized and constant change in management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat everybody the same

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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