Cisco execs try to put best face on 6,000 layoffs

How does a company attempt to soothe angst and bitter feelings when it announces thousands of its workers are getting the ax?

Here’s a bit of insight courtesy of blogger Brad Reese, who got hold of a Cisco Systems internal memo about its recent announcement that 6,000 employees – roughly 8 percent of the company – are being laid off.

The memo provides links to two recordings of comments by CEO John Chambers and other Cisco executives made to their workers about what the layoffs mean and how Cisco is attempting to reorganize itself to become the world’s top information-technology company.

A few cheerleading snippets from Chambers:

“It’s about investing in our growth and moving fast…. We have a chance to lead the entire IT industry… In markets if you don’t move now, you get left behind.”

Chambers also provided a bit more clarity about the layoffs. Although the company previously was vague about how many people would be hired to replace those laid off, he said it has told analysts that “our headcount would not go down.”

Photo by Paul Sakuma, AP

Steve Johnson Steve Johnson (287 Posts)

Steve Johnson covers the microchip industry, cyber security and the big-technology sector that includes Hewlett-Packard, Oracle and Cisco Systems.