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Cisco axes up to 5,500 workers in scramble to remain relevant

Official cull figure not quite the 14,000 rumored

Cisco will lay off up to 5,500 staff, or seven per cent of its worldwide workforce, from this month – the start of its 2017 financial year.

That's someway off earlier rumors of 9,000 to 14,000 redundancies, which would be about a fifth of the networking Borg's global headcount.

For what it's worth, Cisco usually trims its staffing numbers in July and August each year, cutting 6,000 people in August 2014 and 4,000 in August 2013, for example.

In a statement today, while announcing its full-year financial figures, Cisco said it will plough money into security, the Internet of Things, cloud, and so on, after shedding thousands of jobs:

Today, we announced a restructuring enabling us to optimize our cost base in lower growth areas of our portfolio and further invest in key priority areas such as security, IoT, collaboration, next generation data center and cloud. We expect to reinvest substantially all of the cost savings from these actions back into these businesses and will continue to aggressively invest to focus on our areas of future growth.

The restructuring will eliminate up to 5,500 positions, representing approximately 7 percent of our global workforce, and we will take action under this plan beginning in the first quarter of fiscal 2017.

In other words, more software, less hardware.

In the 12 months to the end of July this year, Cisco banked $10.7bn in profit, up 20 per cent on the year-ago period, from sales of $48.7bn, up three per cent. Its earnings-per-share is $2.11, up 21 per cent. Its share price is down nearly one per cent in after-hours trading to $30.42, after sinking 1.29 per cent during the day amid whisperings of mass layoffs.

We've got a full rundown of Cisco's numbers right here. ®

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