Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated August 1, 2015
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3.7
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Approve of CEO
Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins
Chuck Robbins
116 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

6,048 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (78)

    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. Helpful (1)

    Business Operations Manager

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

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

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great perks, Management (depends on the group),

    Cons

    Too much red tape, old mentality, slow decision making, too much power point


  3. MPE

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

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time

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

    Pros

    Great leadership. Great CEO, Great company culture

    Cons

    None, great company to work for while your young


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  5. Software Engineer II

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

    Pros

    Good work environment and culture

    Cons

    Open layout system and compact cubes


  6. Helpful (2)

    Project Management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Manager III in Las Vegas, NV
    Former Employee - Program Manager III in Las Vegas, NV

    I worked at Cisco Systems (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Expectations are high of each employee and you must be a self-starter to succeed within Cisco.

    Cons

    Too many politics and favoritism.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Promotions / raises are tough

    • 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 full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Promotions and raises are attainable

    Cons

    If your manager isn't your advocate, it'll be a tough road to get a promotion or raise. You have to continually market yourself and network within the company. If you don't have upper mgmt visibility forget any raise. It's very competitive.


  8. Great company

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Great company and legal department.

    Cons

    Sometimes too big to get things done quickly.

    Advice to Management

    Keep on doing great work.


  9. Great Company to work for

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems

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

    Pros

    It was a great company and you can work from home.

    Cons

    Working in an open environment.

    Advice to Management

    The Management team I worked with was great.


  10. Product Management

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

    Strong leadership. Obviously !! New leadership seems to be re-energising the company. Good work being done to address commoditization of the business

    Cons

    very political. Leadership is coterie-based. Headcount restructuring is done annually.

    Advice to Management

    COmmunicate clearly and introduce transparency in decision-making


  11. Network Consulting Engineer IV

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    unlimited training resources and opportunities to grow your technical knowledge. Relatively small managed groups, and open management team (typically) encourage open dialog.

    Cons

    organization of information is sometimes weak, so it's difficult to gain knowledge from the experiences of other engineers and team members. Tools to support customers are not well developed so there is a lot of manual labor for things you would expect to be automated.



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