17/08/2016 10:41 AM IST | Updated 17/08/2016 11:20 AM IST

Cisco To Cut 14,000 Jobs In Massive Global Cull: Report

The official announcement is expected within weeks

Mike Blake / Reuters

Networking equipment maker Cisco Systems will cut about 20 per cent of its global workforce, laying off about 14,000 employees, tech news site CRN reported citing sources.

Cisco will announce the cuts within the next few weeks, according to the report. According to Bloomberg, Cisco had about 73,100 employees as of April. The company's last retrenched staff in 2014, when it cut 6,000 jobs.

The move comes as the company shifts its focus from hardware to software-based networking products that require "different skill-sets" for a "software-defined future," said the CRN report. The company has offered early retirement package plans to many Cisco's employees.

While the impact of the layoffs on India operations isn't clear, Cisco India has seen a string of senior departures in the past few weeks.

In the latest exit, Lalit S Chowdhary, a Director of Systems Engineering for Service Provider, India and SAARC, is has reportedly quit after five years with the company, the Hindu BusinessLine reported. Chowdhary was responsible for providing technology leadership across its different business units.

Cisco has been investing in new products such as data analytics software and cloud-based tools for data centers, to offset the impact of sluggish spending by telecom carriers and enterprises on its main business of making network switches and routers.

Cisco isn't the only tech company to trim its workforce. Microsoft and HP have also announced job cuts this year. Microsoft said in July that it would lay off about 2,850 jobs over the next 12 months, taking its total planned job cuts to up to 4,700, or about four percent of its workforce. While HP said earlier this year it would cut about 3,000 jobs by the end of fiscal 2016.

With Reuters inputs