BUSINESS
07/12/2011 08:15 am ET | Updated Sep 11, 2011

Cisco Could Eliminate As Many As 10,000 Jobs To Revive Profit Growth

Networking equipment company Cisco Systems Inc could eliminate as many as 10,000 jobs, or about 14 percent of its workforce, to revive profit growth, Bloomberg said, citing two people familiar with the matter.

As many as 7,000 jobs would be eliminated by the end of August, the people told the agency. Cisco is also providing early-retirement packages to about 3,000 workers who took buyouts, according to Bloomberg.

Early on Monday, Reuters reported that Cisco may slash about 5,000 jobs to meet Chief Executive John Chambers' goal of slashing costs by $1 billion. Reuters had cited Gleacher & Co analyst Brian Marshall.

A Cisco spokeswoman told Reuters on Monday that the company will provide details on cost reductions, including layoffs, during its earnings call on August 11.

Cisco was not immediately available to comment on the Bloomberg report late on Monday.

Cisco shares closed down about 2 percent at $15.43, in a market that was broadly lower due to concerns about the U.S. budget talks and the euro-zone debt crisis.

REVENUE GROWTH UNDER PRESSURE?

Chambers, who is set to speak at a company event in Las Vegas on Tuesday, is working to turn around the Silicon Valley bellwether. He has said the company's next fiscal year starting in August would not live up to the company's previous growth expectations.

Marshall's estimate for job cuts at Cisco is higher than the previous forecasts of up to 4,000 jobs that are in danger of being eliminated.

The pending job cuts "will help right the ship" and achieve a reduction in operating expenses by about $1 billion annually, Marshall said in a note to clients.

Cisco would also need to lower its long-term revenue growth target to about 10 percent from a forecast of 12 percent to 17 percent, Marshall said.

Cisco's revenue has increased 11 percent over the past five calendar years.

Cisco warned in May that it planned to trim its workforce as part of a plan to cut some $1 billion in costs from its annual budget but did not disclose how many jobs would be cut.

Cisco's previous record layoffs came in 2001, when the company shed some 8,000 jobs, Marshall said.

(Reporting by Poornima Gupta and Sakthi Prasad; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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