Cisco Systems

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Cisco Systems Reviews in California

Updated Jul 30, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.6 2,037 reviews

60% Approve of the CEO

Cisco Systems Chairman & CEO John T. Chambers

John T. Chambers

(1,555 ratings)

72% 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
2,036 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    6 people found this helpful  

    Different BUs different experiences

    Senior Director (Former Employee) San Jose, CA

    ProsFocus on core networking technology, Great place to learn.

    ConsLack of executive decision making and regular layoffs.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHire forward looking executives who can transition the company with the ever changing landscape

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Amazing internship but full-time seems iffy

    IT Engineer Intern (Current Employee) San Jose, CA

    ProsThe internship experience in IT is pretty fantastic and very well organized. They are very considerate into finding projects that you are interested in and are willing to let you work on stretch projects that would be considered outside of your team's scope. There are a bunch of other interns as well in the program that you get to hang out with and are open to exploring the surrounding bay area. Cisco IT is also very big on good work-life balance and trying to be more cool for new grads and interns with open work spaces and game areas.

    Cisco as a whole seems to be coming around to changing it's culture to get itself to be more innovative and forward thinking.

    ConsWhile Cisco pays it's interns a good wage, it's still considered second tier in silicon valley and SF and their university program doesn't exactly help out with finding housing in the area. If you don't have a car in the area, you're basically limited to a couple expensive apartments right next to Cisco as the light-rail is absolutely terrible. They also do not give pay raises to returning interns and while it's not frequent, there are some obvious cases of nepotism at the company. There is a huge age gap created by the new grads and university program hires that they started four years ago to more middle-aged company workers who survived the last job recession. A big downside of Cisco's hiring policies too are that they give interns only a few weeks to decide if they want to commit full-time or not as their strategy for retaining talent. While a lot of the interns and new-hires are very smart, some quite often are not and still given full-time opportunities just because there are lots of spots for retention within certain groups. Because they are in such a huge need for new hire talent, a lot of the internship is consisted of presentations and meetings talking about how good Cisco is and convincing the interns to stay. Currently the culture, while is very good, seems to be leaning more to a "settle-down" type of company

    Advice to Senior ManagementFollow the framework created by Google and other big companies that make their workplace so much fun to work for if you really want to retain talent other than by threatening them with limited time. Focus on career development but don't make it so structured with the stack rankings. While my manager was fantastic, I have heard of other intern's managers that almost never showed up or barely got to meet with because of how much work is done remotely. There are also a ton of meetings all the time and many seem almost geared solely for office politics..

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Great people, difficulties lie ahead

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) San Jose, CA

    ProsPeople, technical talent is outstanding.

    ConsDifficult to navigate through grade system. Strategy difficult to understand. Revenue per employes has been flat, as 1 head is reduced in the US, it is replaced by 2 or more elsewhere.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
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    Very Satisfied!

    IT Program Manager (Current Employee) San Jose, CA

    ProsGreat working atmosphere and good work life balance

    ConsCompany politics - top Management levels. Compensation not at par with other hi tech companies.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Excellent work/life balance, good benefits

    Senior Verification Engineer (Current Employee) Santa Clara, CA

    ProsExcellent work/life balance, good benefits, challenging work

    ConsNo stock options/RSUs, unclear vision, cubes getting smaller

    Advice to Senior ManagementIncrease perks

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Cisco's Revival

    Market Research Analyst (Current Employee) San Jose, CA

    ProsCisco does a wonderful job of allowing its employees a superb work-life balance. Remote work is unlimited, which is especially helpful if you have kids or like to travel. Additionally, from a networking perspective, Cisco has perhaps the most experienced workforce in the Tech industry. As a young adult, I've met and connected with many senior professionals (VPs, SVPs, EVPs, etc. are all very willing to sit down with you), which has opened many doors for me; there aren't many companies where you can openly approach the CMO or CEO and expect them to listen, Cisco is unique in this sense. Furthermore, the company may have an "old" image in the Valley, but after having been here for a year, Cisco is in the midst of a grand transition. If you're patient, and believe in long-term results, Cisco is the best company to work for.

    ConsAs with any enterprise company, Cisco has some drawbacks based on its sheer size. With around 70,000 employees, Cisco sometimes feels a bit like a bureaucracy. Seemingly simple tasks become long, inefficient conundrums. Meetings often run long and create a cascading domino effect which, occasionally, leads to long days. Lastly, it's difficult to start from the bottom and experience much career advancement. The most successful employees seem to have worked 10-15 years at other Tech firms before having transitioned to Cisco.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEncourage managers to expedite the job progression process for younger employees, so as to keep them from working for your opponents.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Good for a place to end your career

    Group Manager Product Marketing (Former Employee) Santa Clara, CA

    ProsFlexible work schedules (people work from home a lot), smart people, and good pay make it a good place to finish out your work life. Products are good, margins are solid, and the people are generally friendly.

    ConsThe people who stay have died inside. You sell a part of your soul to stay, especially if you want to do anything truly interesting or innovative. It's a massive organization, so it's easy to get lost in the organization.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop with the constant re-orgs. It's exhausting to constantly be shuffled from group to group, executive to executive.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    great!

    Hardware Engineer (Current Employee) San Jose, CA

    Prosbig company experience, benefits and perks, large campus and working from home. mergers and acquisition experience is great!

    Consconstant change of managers, inability to set a path and stick with it.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Cisco is proactively evolving and staying relevant to our customers in an ever-changing technology landscape.

    Director (Current Employee) San Jose, CA

    Pros- Smart, experienced, and engaged employees with a good balance of long tenured and newer employees
    - At the center of many of the key technology trends for broad exposure
    - Proactively evolving and transforming for business relevancy and impact
    - Great work life balance that leverages Cisco collaboration technology to provide work location flexibility
    - Lots of opportunities to work in new roles / areas

    Cons- Large matrix organization, requires a learning curve and relationship development to successfully navigate
    - Ongoing change is not for everyone, can be challenge for some folks who like a steady state
    - Limited leadership development / rotational programs, requires proactive self-solutioning

    Advice to Senior Management- As the company continues to make the hard tradeoffs to drive long term success, focus on ways to keep the organization's eye on the prize
    - Identify ways to provide more promotion velocity at certain key levels
    - Provide more leadership development training opportunities, especially externally based programs

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    SW Engineer

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) San Jose, CA

    ProsInteresting place to work and I have been with the company for more than ten years and I am currently still employed by the company

    ConsCompany has gone through a number of re-org and one of the most recent re-org was last year. I suppose this is common for company which is large and need to focus on resource and budget and productivity.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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