Despite growth, Cisco to lay off five percent of workforce

Cisco CEO John Chambers plans to axe five percent of the company’s entire workforce, with the 4,000 layoffs beginning in 2014.

Although Cisco has grown, Chambers said it was “not growing as fast as we need,” adding that the company had to dedicate its work to growth areas, quickly.

Cisco made $2.8 billion in sales from the $12.4 billion fourth quarter, meeting Wall Street’s estimates and beating them just a smidge.  Cisco also reported sitting on cash assets of $50.6 billion, an increase of $3 billion from the previous quarter.

Profit was $2.27 billion, an increase from the same time last year at $1.92 billion. Revenue was up to $12.42 billion from $11.69 billion. Shares have shot up 34 percent over the year but fell after this quarter’s results were posted.

As many of the big players in the tech industry are finding out, governments and businesses are hesitant to invest in new enterprise equipment or sign fat contracts because of the disastrous economic outlook worldwide.

“What we see is slow steady improvement, but not at the pace we want,” Chambers said, speaking on an analyst call, the WSJ reports.

Chambers does not seem to have many qualms about mass layoffs – for example, in 2011, Cisco gutted almost 10 percent of its work force when it layed off 6,500 employees. But in that instance the company’s profit had dropped two quarters in a row. Earlier this year, Cisco laid off 500 workers.

Chambers believes there is a bureaucratic culture of middle management at the company, and that more can be achieved with less staff.