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Cisco Layoffs: Nearly 500 Jobs Cut In California

This is the second time significant layoffs have hit Cisco's offices in San Jose and Milpitas in the last 12 months after the company cut 460 jobs last November.

Cisco Systems has laid off more than 480 employees at the networking giant's San Jose and Milpitas offices in California, marking another period of major layoffs for the company within the last 12 months.

The company cut 397 jobs at its headquarters in San Jose and another 91 in Milpitas, which were effective July 31, according to WARN notices received by the state of California's Employment Development Division last Friday. The disclosures were made as part of the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which requires most employers to give advance notice of significant layoffs.

A Cisco spokesperson declined to comment. It’s unclear if these cuts are part of a wider reorganization plan, but the company is set to report its fourth quarter earnings after market close on Wednesday.

[Related: Cisco Plans To Acquire Voicea For Webex ‘Game-Changer’]

The recent layoffs spanned a variety of roles, including analysts, business operations managers, designers, engineers, product managers and technical leaders, the notices said. Managers across engineering, product marketing, software development and public policy were also affected.

The company did not state the reasons for the layoffs in the notices.

Cisco had more than 74,200 employees in the 2018 fiscal year, a 1.7 percent increase from the previous year, according to the company's two most recent annual reports. The company's careers page lists more than 1,800 job openings, more than 400 of which are advertised for offices across California, including San Jose and Milpitas.

The layoffs come after Cisco in early August denied a report that the company had made significant job cuts in China, according to the Global Times.

"It's important that we make decisions to continually ensure that our investments and resources are aligned with strategic growth areas of the business and customer demand," the company reported said in a statement to the Chinese newspaper. "As we realign some of our teams, we are working closely with impacted employees to match them where possible with the wide variety of roles currently open across Cisco."

This is the second time significant layoffs have hit Cisco's offices in San Jose and Milpitas in the last 12 months after the company cut 460 jobs last November. Many of the layoffs happened in Cisco's Customer Experience business, which CEO Chuck Robbins at the time said were necessary as the company transitions to a software- and subscription-led organization.

The layoffs, he said in a November earnings call, were an "an unfortunate step we needed to take in order to expeditiously get to where we need to be relative to dealing with renewals and the lifecycle that our customers are going to want us to drive with them in this new portfolio."

In an interview with CRN earlier this year, Robbins credited Cisco's networking subscription model for driving high growth in the company's software revenue.

"We are in the midst of continuing to add more pure software assets to our business and also continuing to shift our core business to one of recurring software and subscriptions," he said.

Cisco has continued to acquire companies small and large as part of its strategy. So far this year, the company has announced plans to acquire voice technology startup Voicea, interconnect supplier Acacia Communications, IoT security startup Sentryo and network analytics startup Singularity Networks.

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