Cisco Systems Reviews | Glassdoor

Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated July 21, 2017
1,017 reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    "Low Energy and Weak Leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Manager in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Cisco Systems (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Market leadership in most areas which is a good place to be as a marketer. Despite weaknesses, many of Cisco's customer's have no real options other than Cisco. High salaries/bonuses and good productivity tools.

    Cons

    Leadership that's indecisive and often inept - certainly in Marketing. Chamber's departure was probably due but they've slipped since then. Strategy that's seldom articulately communicated. Put's on a good face that they care about employees but it's a very low energy, poor people management environment. They have a thing they call "the people deal." Never really understood what that meant but the inside joke is that it means yearly layoffs, which is not a joke. No stock appreciation.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure you promote managers who actually can lead and motivate. Do 360 reviews (of executives too) to find out who only manages up and layoff up-managers.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Manager Category Supplier Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager Category Supplier Management in Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Manager Category Supplier Management in Dallas, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Product Brand and Legacy Large Route Switch Market Share

    Cons

    No Growth and Recognition for Employees

    Advice to Management

    Work on Employee Diversity and Equal Opportunity

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Sr. Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good technology when it was at the prime days.

    Cons

    Too much useless politics; no credibility within senior management


  4. Helpful (1)

    "rudderless & hopeless -- a colossal waste of motivated talent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineering Manager in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Engineering Manager in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    * Excellent technical talent
    * Many excellent leaders
    * Executive leadership cares about the quality of leadership & management (and appreciates the difference)
    * Deep security awareness
    * Ambitious people who want to make a difference
    * Strong compensation possible for the lucky

    Cons

    * If you think of VSEM (vision, strategy, execution & measurement), the executive leadership seems to be focused on financial execution to the exclusion of all other concerns. Short of the obvious need to diversify from the embattled networking equipment space, we have yet to hear a cogent vision or strategy from the ELT.
    * Constant squeezing of all groups to protect the dividend, frustrating the need of Cisco's varied businesses to grow at different paces
    * Fancy lip-service towards innovation (complete with voting competitions, &c.) but no executive buy-in towards actual innovation within its existing businesses
    * Cisco is swinging towards being a software company, but has almost no-one who knows how to build viable software businesses -- Cisco risks becoming an also-ran low-margin services business if this continues
    * Consistent, persistent fear of being laid off to protect the dividend completely saps morale and undercuts HR's efforts to ensure Cisco is a good employer (the constant threat of financially-driven layoffs terrifies our H-1B holders)
    * Executive focus seems concentrated on the few lines of business that can compensate for the networking business's lagging margins... to the detriment of any future businesses that might develop
    * Acquiring new businesses then requiring them grow while undercutting their OPEX and forcing them to take on Cisco-internal systems/practices that don't work for the acquired business
    * Laying off the sales organizations of businesses that are meeting Cisco's top-line margin requirements

    Advice to Management

    * If you're trying to turn Cisco into an Oracle-esque holding company where you no longer innovate, but instead wait to purchase other businesses, you should get out of those newly purchased businesses' way and let them operate.
    * You need to address employee's fear -- rank & file are losing confidence that Cisco is a place where excellent work will result in continued employment, much less career advancement
    * The statements that employees are disaffected & disconnected isn't cause to lay off more of them: it's the logical consequence of the fact that Cisco is no longer an organization where it feels safe to be employed
    * Stop eating your seed corn -- you're rapidly turning Cisco into HP
    * Cash-on-hand and dividend payments are not a substitute for future relevance


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Cisco no longer the company it once was...."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Business Development Manager in Herndon, VA
    Former Employee - Sales Business Development Manager in Herndon, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits and generous PTO

    Cons

    Lack of leadership, too bureaucratic, too political - too many managers focused on managing up rather than developing people, focused on removing highly experienced people and bringing in cheap in experienced labor, No longer agile, technology advancement lacking, compensation not aligned to future growth. I remember when Cisco was a GREAT company and it's sad to watch it now.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Cisco-WebEx fading"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior User Interface Designer in Santa Clara, CA
    Former Employee - Senior User Interface Designer in Santa Clara, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    At Cisco Systems working with complex legacy technology alongside current technology will give folks an unusual breadth of experience.

    Cons

    Silos, departmental constraints and organizational barriers abound in this large corporation. Frequently what seems reasonable in an abstract summary turns out to be messy and frustrating in reality.

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent if you want workers to invest more than the minimum required.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "HR Program Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Human Resources Program Manager in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Human Resources Program Manager in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits. Flexible workplace is fantastic. Depending on the team, great colleagues.

    Cons

    Lots of talk, little want to actually change. Toxic managers who are managers, not leaders and don't want others to succeed, only make their team look good. Promotion of the best looking and non-team playing members. Not really free to take risks, fail and learn. Lots of bureaucracy, red tape, and processes slowing down decisions, etc. Lot more, "Tried and true, vs. innovate and new".

    Advice to Management

    Lead your people, stop managing. Cut the red tape, listen to your team, truly listen. Do what you say you will and have their backs for real. Don't let it just be talk.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Not what it used to be.."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Boxborough, MA
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Boxborough, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Top Fortune global company, challenging, diverse and on the edge of technology.

    Cons

    It has become a very typical corporate company, complete with layoffs, overworked and underpaid people. Only the bottom line matters now, not the people or culture it once prided itself to be.

    Advice to Management

    Treat people like they are more than just an employee number.


  9. "Bye-Bye Cisco Cloud"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - ScrumMaster/Kanban/Project Manager II in San Jose, CA
    Former Contractor - ScrumMaster/Kanban/Project Manager II in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    You get to meet some very intelligent people and you learn a lot from these folks.

    Cons

    The very intelligent people you meet you get to watch them become frustrated and leave.

    Advice to Management

    Need to cut down the number of levels of VPs. I had 4 levels of VPs between me and Chuck. You need to have more people working the trenches.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Poor Management, Clueless managers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Decent benefits, Amenities in office like espresso bar, snacks etc.

    Cons

    Benefits not at par with other leading employers like Google etc. Poor management, clueless managers who just follow directions coming from there superiors but have no big picture in mind. Nepotism, polarization with Indians hiring/promoting only Indians, Asians only Asians etc. Projects get moved to India but nothing gets done and there is no accountability so the projects have to be brought back again to Stateside to do firefighting. Rumors are rampant that some of these execs/managers get kickbacks for sending work overseas but no one has any proofs.

    Advice to Management

    Get better management who get the bug picture. Analyze and have accountability of all the projects going offshore especially when the ball is dropped.


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