Belfast Telegraph

UK job fears amid reports Cisco to slash global workforce by up to 14,000

Thousands of British jobs at Cisco Systems could be in the firing line following reports that the tech firm is about to slash up to 14,000 staff.

Cisco is poised to axe between 9,000 and 14,000 workers from its global operations as part of a transition from a software to hardware-focused business, technology news site CRN reported, citing sources close to the company.

The move would mark the largest job cull in the company's history.

Cisco, which launched its UK operations in 1992, employs around 5,000 people in 14 towns and cities across the country, including London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Chandler's Ford.

The California-based firm employs over 70,000 employees worldwide.

The cuts are expected to be announced in the coming weeks, though many have been offered early retirement packages ahead of the news, it has been reported.

The company's headcount has already been cut by around 3,200 over the past two years, mostly due to restructuring and workforce reduction plans announced in 2013 and 2014.

However, recent announcements appear to point to UK expansion.

Last summer, Cisco committed to investing over 1 billion US dollars (£768 million) in UK digital education and skills projects over the following three to five years.

In December, the company opened new offices in central London to house around 200 workers in cloud technology, adding it planned to expand its operations in the city three-fold by 2017.

It followed the acquisition of two private UK companies, Acano and Portcullis, involved in conferencing software and cyber security services.

Cisco did not respond to requests for comment.

A spokesman for Cisco's UK and Ireland operations said the company was in a quiet period and did not comment on speculation or rumour.