Is Cisco preparing for layoffs?

Uh-oh. Om Malik, blogging in GigaOm says his sources are telling him that Cisco is looking to cut staffing levels in underperforming departments. Malik writes: "The cuts are going to be big

enough to raise an eyebrow." He reckons that Frank Calderoni, who starts in his new job as Cisco CFO on Friday, will have to preside over the layoffs. It's been a while since Cisco made largescale cuts in its staffing numbers ...

Malik checked in with Cisco PR folks for a response, which was:

Cisco does not comment on rumors or speculation. I can tell you however, that Cisco constantly reviews ways to streamline and optimize business processes for improved efficiency and increased shareholder value. As discussed on Cisco’s results conference call last week, at the end of Q2 Cisco headcount totaled 64,087, a net increase of approximately 1,000 from Q1 FY’08. We will continue to invest in headcount in the areas where we see continuing opportunities for growth. 

Cisco officially ushered in Calderoni today as its new CFO, replacing Dennis Powell who retires on Friday. Calderoni joined Cisco in May 2004 having served as CFO at both QLogic and San Disk. Calderoni’s most recent position at Cisco was senior vice president, Customer Solutions Finance, which he held since June 2007. In that role, he was responsible for leading finance operations in support of Cisco’s sales and service organizations. Calderoni takes over Cisco's books as Cisco warned Wall Street that its business could be slow in the current third quarter due to softness in U.S. and European sales. Not a delightful time to take over as CFO. What should Calderoni do in his first month in office?

Related: Cisco CFO to ring Nasdaq opening bell but timing is a bit unfortunate

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