Report: Cisco may cut up to 10,000 jobs

Latest figure double the job-loss estimate offered by analyst on Monday

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I wrote on Monday that Gleacher & Co. analyst Brian Marshall estimated in a note to clients that Cisco Systems would need to eliminate 5,000 jobs in order to meet its goal of cutting $1 billion in expenses.

(Also see: John Chambers to Cisco employees: Quit messing up my brilliant strategy!)

Now two people "familiar with the plans" tell Bloomberg News that the networking equipment giant may mothball as many as 10,000 jobs, or about 14 percent of its workforce:

The cuts include as many as 7,000 jobs that would be eliminated by the end of August, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t final. Cisco is also providing early-retirement packages to about 3,000 workers who accepted buyouts, the people said.

Of course, none of these people will be Cisco chief executive John Chambers.

Bloomberg's sources say the Cisco employees who take the voluntary retirement packages will get a year's pay and medical benefits.

Cisco is scheduled to announce fourth-quarter earnings after the market closes on Wednesday, Aug. 10, which probably is when we'll hear the official layoff news (though it'll get leaked before then).

The company's revenue growth has slowed in recent years as competitors have stolen networking-equipment market share with lower-priced switches and routers. In May the company announced a broad restructuring designed to eliminate bureaucracy and speed up decision making.

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