News: The move comes as it shifts to offering software-based products.
Networking giant Cisco Systems is reportedly planning to lay off approximately 14,000 employees, with the job cuts standing to be the company's single largest layoff in its 32-year history.
The job cuts accounts for nearly 20% of its global workforce.
The networking giant is expected to announce the layoffs within the next few weeks, sources close to the company told CRN. The same sources told the publication that the company has already offered early retirement package plans to some of its employees.
The heavy job losses come as Cisco shifts its focus from hardware to software.
The source told CRN: "They need different skill sets for the software-defined future than they used to have.
“In theory the addressable market could be higher and margins richer, but it will take some time to make this transition.”
As of 20 April 2016, the company’s global headcount stood at 73,104, according to a regulatory filing.
Cisco has announced job cuts several times in the past. In August 2014, Cisco disclosed that it would shed 6,000 jobs, which represented 8% of its total employee count at the time. Similarly, it announced plans to lay off 4,000 employees in August 2013.
In July 2011, Cisco said that it would lay off about 6,500 jobs, or 9% of its full-time workforce, as a part of its wider strategy to cut costs and restore growth.
Cisco saw 3% decline in its revenue to $3.45bn from its switching division in the third quarter, while routing business reported 5% drop in sales to $1.89bn. The two divisions are its biggest revenue contributors.
Taking over as CEO of Cisco in July 2015, Chuck Robbins has been initiating steps to improve the company’s growth by focusing on offering software-based networking, security and management products, Bloomberg reported.
In February 2016, Cisco announced that it will acquire Jasper Technologies, a startup which makes software for connecting internet devices.
The acquisition was expected to enable Cisco to gain access to a complete IoT solution that is interoperable across devices and works with IoT service providers, application developers and environment of partners.
In a bid to boost its cloud offerings, Cisco acquired San Jose startup CliQr Technologies for $260m in March this year.
The deal was aimed at expanding Cisco's data centre portfolio with technology to simplify, automate and manage applications across hybrid cloud.