Cisco Systems Reviews | Glassdoor

Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated January 20, 2019
14,480 reviews

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4.0
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Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins
Chuck Robbins
4,125 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "good work life balance & onsite opportunities" (in 2453 reviews)

  • "work from home , no restrictions" (in 1085 reviews)

Cons
  • "Work life balance can be poor in certain groups / certain times" (in 460 reviews)

  • "It is a big company and all of the politics that come with that" (in 366 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great company to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time

    Pros

    Work life balance. Smart people, collaborative environment, many opportunities to grow and learn

    Cons

    Constant changes that may impact productivity.


  2. Helpful (9)

    "Great comp plan for high-end engineers;don't plan on a long term career here"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Principal Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Principal Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The benefits are outrageously good.
    The compensation is outrageously good.
    If you are a survivor you will do well here.
    If you are a high performer, you will do financially well here.
    If you slack, you may actually do better than the high performers as management keeps the slackers around to cut them every 6 months when LRs are mandated.
    When you are impacted by an LR and you will be, you earn a great exit package (I earned one year of base pay for 4 years of work...)
    The DCP is pretty cool for 13/89s, but on reflection, if I knew Cisco was such an unstable company, I'd not had invested in the DCP program as now all my DCP is paid in one big chunk in one year instead of spread over several years as I had planned. Live and learn :)

    Cons

    Cisco's definition of culture in my brief 4-year stint was "everything is about money". That is good and bad - good because you can make some serious dough here, bad because there is no sense of community in the workforce.

    Cisco has limited restructurings in spring and fall. The lifers refer to avoiding a layoff as "being safe" which is in my mind an oxymoron. There is no such thing as safety at Cisco. If you come here, be prepared to move on when you hit the wrong set of cost lists. High performance is no guarantee of "safety" either; I earned 1.3x-1.5x multipliers on my bonuses every year for 4 years - still impacted by an LR. Most restructuring affects older (highly compensated) workers. There is no other logical conclusion to the restructurings than they are meant to cut already well-trained long-term growth employees and replace them with a younger untrained workforce. These LRs create intense stop energy in the company nearly all the time as everyone is in a state of panic. This "Fog of War" is difficult for innovators to execute in making Cisco pivot like an Exxon Valdez rather than an Eagle.

    Cisco completely doesn't understand open source and evidenced by the latest round of LRs in 2018 that impacted nearly every engineer doing any sort of open source work. The engineering workforce is far too compliant resulting in high degrees of passive-aggressive behavior rather than assertiveness.

    Advice to Management

    Rethink your tactics on restructuring efficiency. I know the bean counters "think" its cheaper to cut headcount and pay restructuring charges then to move people around in the company. The reality is you constantly are churning your excellent staff and creating lifetime enemies in the industry in the process.

    Pro Tip: Open Source is table stakes in today's business environment. If you see it as a donation rather than influence, do you also see your job as an executive donation, rather than influence? One of the many purposes of open source is to influence business outcomes in a positive way. Just like you do in your day job as an executive. I don't understand why this is so difficult for Cisco executives to grasp.

    Cisco's products are made up of 50-90% of open source components. It was always embarrassing to me that Cisco had such a high rate of consumption of open source, yet such a low rate of influence as a result of under-investment.

    Finally, don't wear so much BLING on the beat; it makes you appear tone-deaf after laying off 4000 people and donating $50 million to charity...

  3. "Good place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Tech Lead in Pleasanton, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Tech Lead in Pleasanton, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Work-Life Balance, good teamwork culture and Benefits.

    Cons

    Mature company - Need more new projects to keep work interesting.

    Advice to Management

    Get involved more with all the projects!


  4. "Good company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Supply Chain Manager in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Supply Chain Manager in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    has clear supply chain strategy

    Cons

    complex organization. frequent lay off


  5. "Cisco-Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    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 (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good learning experience.
    Great Team work.
    Good work-life balance.

    Cons

    Some of the work is kind of repeated


  6. "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Director in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cisco Systems (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Going through a lot of business transitions so there is a lot of meaningful work going on with great people to work with. The company is moving in the right direction.

    Cons

    Lack of decision making transparency from leaders.


  7. "Happy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Human Resources Consultant in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Human Resources Consultant in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Culture. Work. Collaboration. Balance. Benefits. Leaders. Technology.

    Cons

    Nothing comes to my mind

  8. "I loved working at Cisco!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst Customer Operations in Richardson, TX
    Former Employee - Analyst Customer Operations in Richardson, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cisco Systems (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Everyone helps each other
    Very collaborative environment
    Continuous learning opportunities everywhere
    Family first philosophy
    Very supportive outside of work
    Management is always very transparent and shares strategies frequently
    Employees are very hard-working, passionate, very well-educated and smart

    Cons

    Cisco has limited restructurings from time to time - just like most High-Tech companies.

    Advice to Management

    Management is doing a great job!!


  9. "Great company that is moving to a recurring revenue model"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Manager in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Program Manager in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cisco Systems (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Get to work on critical projects
    Team members are great

    Cons

    Slow to respond due to the size


  10. "Good Company, Very top heavy management that Gets in the way"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Manager in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Program Manager in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Overall a good company. Has a lot of good benefits. Very flexible in working remote or from home. ESPP is about up to 10% of your salary. 401k Matching is 4.5% which is vested immediately. Bonus at mid year and end of Fiscal year. Each department is a bit different. Some work crazy hours while others are very laid back and are hardly in the office. I always looked at Cisco as a company for people that have a family as it provides a great work life balance. If you are new or early in your career, there are better companies to get more experience.

    Cons

    Get rid of most of the management. Too much politics and favoritism going on. People are just promoting their buddies and then wonder why all the good employees are leaving.

    Need to implement better salary increases. Some people can go on for years without seeing a single increase.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of some of the layers in management. Way too many managers, directors and VP's. Things get to political and don't move fast enough. Need to promote your best workers and not play favorites.