Up to 2,000 jobs to be cut at Cisco?

We all know the story, recognize the layoff dance by now, and Cisco is up on the floor gyrating away. First comes the hiring freeze - in Cisco's case, reported on in the press in November. Then comes the little tweaks, such as cutting a mere 129 jobs in Richardson, Texas -- a facility serving the broadband telephony market. Then the hemming and hawing, which happened at Cisco's analyst conference call last night. Cisco is giving every indication that it is heading for layoffs, but if you are looking for a silver lining, maybe it is this: Internetnews.com is reporting that the next round of cuts will be modest, as part of a normal restructuring in which perhaps 1,500 to 2,000 job will get the kibosh out of Cisco's total current headcount of 67,318.

At the same time, remember that Cisco CEO John Chambers said in December that cutting the fat from Cisco's payroll would not be done in small steps. If it happens, he promised that it would be another one-time massive cut (and associated write-off) like seven years ago during the previous downturn, where Cisco laid off 8,500 employees - 18% of its workforce - and announced a $2.2 billion inventory write-off, says the TechPulse360 blog.

Given that Cisco's stock price has been stagnant for years, and all the other IT companies are doing it, do you think it serves Cisco, or hurts Cisco, to announce a layoff at this time?

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