Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated July 1, 2015
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Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins
Chuck Robbins
21 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

2,553 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (61)

    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. Incredible Company Overall

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Systems Analyst in Milpitas, CA
    Current Employee - Business Systems Analyst in Milpitas, CA

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    -Awesome people
    -Great work/life balance
    -Flexible hours
    -Ability to work from home
    -Really amazing benefits (the most comprehensive healthcare I've ever had)
    -A nice bonus when the company is doing well
    -Management truly cares about my development and growth

    Cons

    -Due to Cisco being a very large company, sometimes a lot of bureaucracy and politics
    -Sometimes slow pace of execution and adaptation - once again due to being a large company (Cisco is going through a lot of effort to improve this though)
    -Can be challenging to move up, sometimes promotion is based on politics (more so about who you know as opposed to your merit/achievements)

    Advice to Management

    Management is doing well overall, but there is a lot of high level talk about goals (more innovation, move faster, etc.), however, there is little talk of the challenges to meeting these goals and how the company is addressing these challenges. Overall, less positivism and more realism.


  3. Culture depends on Team, but I love mine (UX/CX)

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

    I have been working at Cisco Systems

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

    Pros

    - Flexible hours
    - Great team attitude
    - Lots of great benefits (stock options, 401k, health insurance, etc)
    - Team outings per quarter for team bonding

    Cons

    Cisco's culture is vastly different from team to team. I have some coworkers in other teams that don't have nearly as many team events as we do. But for the most part, in comparison with other industries, they have you covered.

    If you want to talk about first world problems, Cisco doesn't have free lunch and other random free stuff, but those companies do that so you end up living there.


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  5. 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!


  6. 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.


  7. 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


  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. Cisco

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

    I have been working at Cisco Systems (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Great vision, culture and openess

    Cons

    Pockets of middle management entrenched in archaic views driving heavy handed process and bureaucracy. Emphasis on innovation from senior management is not translated into action by middle management.

    Advice to Management

    Ensure that the great vision and culture permeates middle management. Hold middle management accountable.


  10. Social Media Strategist

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems as a contractor (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    The people are great, the environment is wonderful and the opportunities are excellent.

    Cons

    Some of the management an upper leaders are out of touch with the employees.

    Advice to Management

    Understand your workers role more intimately and lead accordingly.


  11. Developer

    Current Employee - Technical Lead in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Technical Lead in San Jose, CA

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

    Pros

    Good,new technology.lot of opportunity.Challeging work environment.

    Cons

    Like any other big organisation , lot of layer.



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