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Feb. 27, 2020, 7:57 p.m. EST

Cisco starts new round of layoffs

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By Aaron Tilley

Cisco Systems Inc. has started a new round of job cuts as the networking-equipment maker faces the prospect of slowing sales growth because of global economic uncertainty.

The layoffs, Cisco told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, are "part of an ongoing process of aligning our investments and resources to meet the evolving needs of our customers and partners." The company, which has around 75,000 employees, declined to say how many people were affected or what roles they hold.

Cisco said it would support employees who are affected.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company said this month it expects revenue to drop between 1.5% and 3.5% in its current quarter. The decline would come on top of a 3.5% year-over-year drop in revenue for the company's fiscal second quarter, which ended Jan. 25.

The company said, at the time, it had begun a restructuring plan that could lead to pretax charges of around $300 million, including severance payments. About half that amount, Cisco said, would occur in the current quarter.

Cisco, like other technology companies, said it was on alert for potential impact from the coronavirus outbreak on its business. Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are among tech giants to warn that the outbreak was affecting their outlooks.

The job cuts at Cisco come as it is changing its sales focus from hardware such as servers, routers and other gear to software services.

Write to Aaron Tilley at aaron.tilley@wsj.com

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