Saturday 22 October 2016

Fears for Irish jobs as Cisco tipped to cull 14,000 staff

Published 18/08/2016 | 02:30

The global technology giant may lay off up to one in five workers, it’s reported
The global technology giant may lay off up to one in five workers, it’s reported

Irish jobs may be at risk as part of a global culling of Cisco's workforce as the tech firm looks to pivot towards a more software-centric organisation.

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Cisco employs around 300 people in Ireland across its two bases in Galway and Dublin.

When contacted by the Irish Independent, a spokesperson for Cisco said: "We are currently in our quiet period, and we do not comment on speculation and rumour."

In 2012 the company announced a €26m investment into its Galway operation, which created 115 jobs in research and development. The investment came six years after the Galway base opened.

Cisco's western operation was initially set up with 50 researchers to explore various methods of contact including e-mail, voicemail, instant messaging and voice over the internet protocol (VOIP).

Four years ago the research and development hub switched its focus into new business areas in communication and collaboration software including cloud-based desktops.

At the time Cisco senior vice president for global collaboration business Barry O'Sullivan said the Galway outlet was developing industry-leading technology and praised its access to top-class engineers in Ireland.

Globally the company is laying off around 14,000 employees, according to a report from technology news site CRN. That represents a 20pc cut of the entire workforce. It is understood the cuts are being made so the tech giant can focus more on the software side of the business.

Similar cuts were made recently at Intel. The chip-maker announced earlier in the year that it would be cutting 12,000 workers from its global headcount. The 11pc reduction in staff hit its Irish workers as the company began laying off people at its Leixlip plant.

Other major tech companies have moved towards less worker-heavy, more software-focus ed areas. In 2014 Microsoft announced it would be cutting 18,000 jobs as it moved towards a future in cloud computing to deal with the decline of PC sales.

Since then HP also announced it would be reducing its staff numbers by around 33,000 over a three-year period.

The announcement from Cisco comes off the back of a 15pc rise in share price over the last three months. In July Cisco's UK and Ireland chief executive Phil Smith announced he was stepping down.

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