Cisco's new CEO hints that no big layoff is coming

Cisco Chuck Robbins1Cisco Live/Business InsiderCisco’s incoming CEO Chuck Robbins

In a couple of days, Cisco will be getting a new CEO for the first time in 20 years when Chuck Robbins officially takes the reins. It will also be ending its 2015 fiscal year.

Employees are biting their nails for news about whether the new boss will continue an old habit: Cisco’s annual layoffs.

The company has shed big chunks of its workforce for the past four years in a row, at the end of its fiscal year.

And then it sometimes added headcount back again by making a huge acquisition.

Robbins has said some things that indicate cuts or another reorg is coming. He’s talked about moving to a “flatter leadership team” and about instilling “a level of operational rigour.”

But, in a blog post on Thursday announcing the divestiture of one of Cisco’s biggest struggling units, he said something reassuring about the annual layoff situation:

We will exit Q4 with our headcount up and, based on our current business assumptions, expect an increase in our headcount as we exit next fiscal year.

Logically speaking, that doesn’t sound like he’s planning a layoff.

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