Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated 18 September 2014
Updated 18 September 2014
4,887 Reviews
3.6
4,887 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Cisco Systems Chairman & CEO John T. Chambers
John T. Chambers
3,453 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good work/life balance (for most) with plenty of tools to help get that done (in 534 reviews)

  • It is very flexible environment where most people can work from home if they desire (in 301 reviews)


Cons
  • No part-time options for professionals wanting work-life balance while raising a family (in 161 reviews)

  • The result is a dilution of culture and a race towards big company mediocrity (in 149 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Good place to work and learn!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Flexibility of the way you can work is great, certainly a pro! Great place to learn from a very varied workforce.

    Cons

    It is hard to move up, change career paths and get a pay rise. Not the best place to be if you are early in your career, not much focus put there.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Good experience overall

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Deployment Engineer  in  Feltham, England
    Former Employee - Deployment Engineer in Feltham, England

    I worked at Cisco Systems as a contractor for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The name was and always will be a pro. Perks were good and you do get looked after

    Cons

    You tend to get pigeon holed and to move up or sideways you really do need to know the right people within

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Personal growth

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Terrible management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer III  in  London, England
    Former Employee - Software Engineer III in London, England

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Lots of resources to work on projects, comfortable working environment, and you get to work on products that are used at scale by a lot of people.

    Cons

    Management is a disaster, incompetence is rife, and you always know that your product is being run into the ground with executive management thinking about when, not if, they are going to cancel it. Cisco is a machine for extracting value from acquisitions: it buys companies and then strip-mines them. Good people leave to find better jobs and the people who can't find better jobs are promoted based on tenure rather than ability. Every Cisco office starts out decent and gets progressively worse. There's a running joke that if you're ever handed a brief for a new product then you should quit and start your own company to build it, because Cisco will buy your company for a lot more than they would have paid you and you'll get to take all the good people (and only the good people) with you. Don't look for career advancement here; if you don't enter the company as executive management then you are an expense to be reduced.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop treating BUs like sealed units and start aggressively auditing them for clusters of incompetent managers who give each other glowing performance reviews.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Poor tactical level management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Manager  in  Reading, England
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Reading, England

    I worked at Cisco Systems as a contractor for more than a year

    Pros

    Global reach, market leader in network technologies. Consistent growth through mergers and acquisitions. Talented workforce with ambitions to move into services rather than just box shifting.

    Cons

    Box shifting mentality. Lack of accountability for delivery. Silo mentality to delivery. Sales and delivery functions are a million miles apart. A hard place to be successful.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Low level execs seem inexperienced when dealing with customers. Unwilling to take responsibility for their actions or improve cross party relationships. Too many apologists and not enough leaders.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Great times, however slowly dulling down

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Cisco Systems

    Pros

    lots of tools and sales support

    Cons

    Management treat you like a number - if things aren't going your way you can be left on your own,

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    look after your people

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Lots of transition in the company in the structure that leads unhappy employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  London, England
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great work life balance in the company.
    You are given lots of freedom
    Ability to work on big projects

    Cons

    No career progression
    Promotions are difficult
    Not very innovative. Cisco buys innovative companies
    Always lots of organizational change
    Pay below average in the market

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You message about investing in people doesn't align with what actually happens.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Like watching children in the park chasing a ball, only in this case it was attention of senior execs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Development Manager  in  London, England
    Former Employee - Business Development Manager in London, England

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Flexibility, home working, technology, environment

    Cons

    Politics, culture, vision, management, visibility

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Culture

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Best times are gone, but still a good company to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director  in  London, England
    Former Employee - Director in London, England

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The old days when stock options could make you rich are gone forever, but total package is still good, in the top 50% percentile of similar ICT companies. You can get RSU (restricted stock units) as a bonus each year.
    Networking is not as "hot" as it used to be 20 years ago, but it is still an interesting area for working, in terms of innovation and market opportunities.
    Work environment is OK, similar to other large ICT companies, not heaven and not hell, but still way better than a steel factory, although not as exciting as a startup or high tech software company.

    Cons

    Morale not great after many rounds of layoffs. The company needs a major shift to survive long term, which might be a threat or a great opportunity, depending on where you end up. Cisco was the Google of the 90s, now it looks more like IBM in the 90s. It is not an innovation leader anymore and market dominance is at risk.
    Many senior leaders are focused on politics and protecting their back, so the work environment is not as friendly and relaxed as it used to be. Some of the executives lack the vision, depth and personality. They can manage the "blah blah" in videos, but they fall short when it comes to real market understanding, technology vision and execution.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The cultural shift in the last 20 years has been dramatic and not for the better. Part of it can be explained with market dynamics and makes sense, although not pretty. Unfortunately sometimes the baby was thrown with the water, while significant dirt remained and built up.
    The values and attributes that make a leader climb the ladder need to be revised significantly. Cisco needs less pretty internal propaganda slides and more solid work and sincerity.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Software Engineer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer  in  London, England
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in London, England

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Work with the smartest folks in the networking industry, and be constantly challenged. Cisco embodies a culture of "getting it done", albeit through the medium of constant escalation (you'll either survive, or wither and die through stress). Fast paced and stimulating environrment.

    Cons

    Work / life balance badly skewed. Benefits are slowly being eroded as the company drives for increased shareholder "profitability".

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Cascade trust in the organisation and relinquish control. Learn when to say no.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Struggling to make it through a long-term transition

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Operations Manager  in  London, England
    Current Employee - Senior Operations Manager in London, England

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Some excellent people, particularly in the regional organisations and outside of corporate. People work very hard in general and there is a remarkable level of commitment given the churn that the company has experienced in the last few years. The company pays pretty well, and the ability to work from home, and be flexible in working hours is a huge plus.

    Cons

    Corporate is still far too inward looking, political and self-obsessed. Cisco aspires to be the #1 IT company in the world, but it struggles against younger, more nimble and more enlightened challengers in most of the markets in which it plays.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to overhaul HR processes, particularly performance management and drag into the 21st century. There is a significant issue with managing expectations regarding promotions, and Cisco needs to consider implementing a structured rotation strategy.
    Continue to move to integrate product and service organisations.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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