​Cisco to axe up to 14,000 staff: Report

Cisco Systems is reportedly going to be shedding between 9,000 to 14,000 employees from its global workforce within the next few weeks.

Cisco Systems is reported to lay off up to nearly 20 percent of its global workforce, currently sitting at 73,104, as part of the company's continued transition into a software-focused organisation.

According to CRN, sources close to the situation said the networking giant will announce it will axe between 9,000 to 14,000 employees within the next few weeks.

CRN said while Cisco declined to comment, one source familiar with the situation explained Cisco needs "different skill sets for the software-defined future than they used to have".

Cisco Systems Australia has informed ZDNet that the company is currently in a closed period and does not comment on rumour or speculation.

However, following the release of its fourth quarter earnings report, Cisco has confirmed it will be slashing 5,500 jobs as part of its latest restructure plans. The networking giant said it plans to use the job cuts as a way to reinvest in its security, IoT, collaboration, data center and cloud technologies.

Back in 2001, Cisco axed 5,000 full-time jobs. Ten years later it did the same shedding 11,500 jobs from its payroll; and in 2014, the company did the same thing, cutting 6,500 jobs.

Speaking about the job cuts in 2014, then-CEO and president John Chambers described the decision as one of the hardest, saying it was done so out of necessity to not be one of the big companies to be left behind.

"Forty percent of the Fortune 500 that exist today probably won't exist in a meaningful way in a decade. [It was] the hardest decision I've ever made. We had our best year ever ... we did a very good job with record earnings. And yet ... we realigned 6,500 people."

In February, the company reported better-than-expected second quarter results with net income coming in at $3.1 billion, and non-GAAP earnings of 57 cents per share on a revenue of $11.8 billion, up two percent year-over-year.

Updated 3.31 p.m 17 August 2016: Cisco informed ZDNet it is unable to make any comments as the company is currently in a closed period.

Updated 9.40 a.m 18 August 2016: Cisco confirmed it will be cutting 5,500 jobs as part of its fourth quarter results.