Cisco Systems Inc., the world’s largest maker of networking devices and equipment, is expected to announce layoffs of 14,000 employees in the next few weeks.
The layoffs, which would affect 20 percent of Cisco’s entire workforce, would follow the corporation’s earnings report for their most recent quarter, to be released on Wednesday.
Since taking over in July 2015, CEO Chuck Robbins has looked to boost growth at Cisco by shifting the company’s offerings from physical products towards software-based networking, security, and management products.
It is widely believed that customers prefer software to physical products because it is less expensive and more versatile.
While Cisco has been projected to report losses on Wednesday, the job cuts were not seen coming. The last time that Cisco had mass layoffs was in August 2014, when it let go of 6,000 employees.
It is believed that the new layoffs will be due to a restructuring requiring employees with more advanced skills. Many current employees have already been offered early retirement plans.
Cisco would follow other tech giants like Microsoft and HP in announcing recent job cuts.
In February, Microsoft announced that it would lay off 2,850 people in the next 12 months, making for a total of 4,700 planned cuts. HP, meanwhile, announced in February that it would lay off 3,000 employees by the end of its fiscal year.
While the company’s stock has risen by 15 percent this year, it is unclear as to how it will react to the latest news.