Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated August 25, 2014
Updated August 25, 2014
4,981 Reviews

3.6
4,981 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Cisco Systems Chairman & CEO John T. Chambers
John T. Chambers
3,578 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

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Learning & Development

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

    I have been working at Cisco Systems

    Pros

    Company Mission, Culture, flexibility in the work experience, brilliant people, fun & exciting work, ...

    Cons

    Size...figuring out how to maneuver the behemoth that Cisco has become can be a challenge

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I'll pass on this...

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2. 8 people found this helpful  

    Ever optimistic, but still not around the corner

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

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

    Pros

    Flexibility in how, when, and where you work is phenomenal for a company of this size. It's a two-edged sword, but having the option to take a WebEx from home, Starbucks, airports, the beach, or in the office ... permits a level of versatility -- and fully acceptable by colleagues and management -- that would be hard to repeat elsewhere. It's part of the culture. The flipside is that work more easily creeps into your personal space and follows you on vacation if you're not careful. Another consequence is that Cisco offices can feel like ghost towns.

    Cisco has an immensely successful and rich portfolio and is well-positioned for the future. But ... for the past few years, it has felt like Cisco is constantly trying to turn a corner ... and never quite making it.

    Cons

    The biggest con nowadays is that Cisco is trying vigorously to grow income faster than revenue. This translates to what seems like a never ending round of budget cuts and divestment. Workforce reductions are becoming more common than pay raises and the value proposition to working here is becoming harder to defend.

    Cisco has a severely bloated middle level of professionals. Upward mobility is limited and the path can be vague.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The promise of a better future is beginning to sound hollow. A major shake-up C-Suite leadership is in order. You've gotten us this far, but we need a little less loyalty among the senior ranks and a little more fresh thinking.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Great culture - innovative leadership

    Current Employee - Partner Manager  in  Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Partner Manager in Houston, TX

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

    Pros

    Compensation is pretty good - leadership is smart. Best channel org in the industry.

    Cons

    Life balance sometimes a big challenge. At times it's often hard to move up.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You hired good people - set them free to grow revenues. Let mgmt be more forward thinking

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Valuable experience that advanced my career goals!

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Fantastic internship experience. Got an opportunity to work on a number of different projects. Got an opportunity to interact with senior leadership including CEO, CIO. Everyone is very flexible about the worklife balance.

    Cons

    No real issues with my experience.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Great Work Life Balance - limited upward mobility

    • 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 3 years

    Pros

    Great Work life balance. They actually care about your well being.

    Cons

    Doesnt matter how good your are at your job it only matters if you are assigned to the "next big thing" projects if you want to move up. Have seen many crappy managers / directors move up because they were in the right place at the right time. Some managers (now SR Directors have had 3 promotions in 3 years. No one else can come close to that.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Company To Work At, But...

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

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

    Pros

    Treats employees well.
    Excellent compensations and benefits.
    Company makes tons of cash.
    Great location in Silicon Valley.

    Cons

    Horrible stock performance over the last decade.
    Gives away money to employees too freely.
    Over-pays insane amounts for mergers and acquisitions.
    Has no idea how to increase the value of the business, even with all that cash.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    How about increasing the value of the company, so the stock options are actually worth something?

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Great company

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

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

    Pros

    This is a fantastic company to work for. They care about their people and quality.

    Cons

    Like any big company it moves slowly and makes mistakes.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Awesome

    • 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 3 years

    Pros

    flexible work schedule, awesome people

    Cons

    breakdown in communication, politics, leadership

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    none

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Great Large Company Experience

    • 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 for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Depending on the role flexibility in hours and ability to work from home.

    Large company ability to rotate and learn new things

    Excellent pay - Cisco strives to pay at the 75th percentile, pretty good benefits

    Great place to work and advance for women

    Bonuses are usually paid out or in bad years a portion of the bonus.

    If you do get laid off and are a blue badge (non-contractor employee) you will get a generous severance package - in 2011 it was a 6 month payout for most, but for long term older employees it was 1 year. In 2013 the package was something very similar two months on the books - paid with a four month payout.

    If you don't have a brand name school on impressive company your resume, people will take you more serious after doing time at Cisco.

    The possibility of driving important initiatives of very significant size - the ability to impact millions of dollars of revenue or be part of a billion dollar business unit or enterprise.

    A great cross cultural - world-wide and cutting edge technology experience.

    Cons

    If you are a red badge (contractor) in the USA- odds are you will never become a full time employee with benefits. Back in 2011, 40% of the company was contract, today it is higher. Many have the dreams and desires to convert from contractor to employee but your odds are almost as good as playing the lotto. (If you are a women, your odds will be better - as you will help the desired diversity metrics).

    Raises almost never happen. They are the exception and not the rule.

    Continual layoffs of higher paying positions - almost every year - cost shifting of higher paying jobs to lower paying areas outside of Bay Area/USA.

    Each job has very limited role responsibility because they are typically structured in a silo - so after two years you might get bored and will want to go through the job rotation program.

    Some departments had VERY inflated job titles compared with the outside world. I have met Directors and Senior Directors that I wouldn't let them run a McDonalds (if I owned one). As they say in Texas - all hat and no cattle.

    If you are a straight white male not in engineering it's not the best place to advance - you will have difficulties in advancing because you will not meet the desired diversity quota. Because engineering is so heavily weighted toward men, the other areas of the business are being strongly encouraged to hire women. I've seen entire departments shift from 50/50 to 75/80% women. Many of the women prefer only to hire women. The women dominated departments are creating new issues which I had never seen before in any organization and in certain cases slows down progress. While I support the advancement of women, some things are hard to challenge, change or modify without coming across as a Neanderthal. (I hope they balance things out better in the future).

    The LGBT agenda can create a hostile environment after the inclusion and diversity on the annual review implemented by a previous HR exec who is now at Twitter. The review now can be used against those that have more traditional views of the world. It creates and Orwellian world where the word inclusion means exclusion.

    If you work at Cisco too long you might become immersed in the slow "collaborative" bureaucratic way of doing things where nothing gets done and perhaps lose your ability to act and think quickly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire the best and brightest and drop the internal politically correct agenda. Reduce the exposure of producing the majority of your products (to reduce risk) in a potentially hostile country toward the USA and toward your intellectual assets. When conducting a layoff consider the deadwood of 20+ year employees and those getting paid the large dollars well above their outside market value.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Lots of technologies available

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Technical Leader I  in  Richardson, TX
    Former Employee - Technical Leader I in Richardson, TX

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

    Pros

    Good benefits. Ability to work from home. Flexible hours.

    Cons

    Minimal innovation. Buys innovative companies then has layoffs to please investors. Limited career growth. Subjective and somewhat unfair bonuses

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Huge number of email lists and meetings. Offshore workers create more work in outside hours, better to make use of intern programs.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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