Cisco boss promises leaner company, avoids layoff talk

Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers told a Las Vegas audience Tuesday that his company will be "leaner and more focused" in the future, which may mean layoffs for thousands of workers.

The Wall Street Journal, and several other news outlets reported on Chambers' remarks at Cisco Live at Mandalay Bay. He said the company will reduce the number of groups involved in developing new products.

"We were too complex," Chambers said at the event, which drew a reported 15,000 customers and other attendees.

Cisco, a San Jose, Calif.-based network-equipment company, is also reportedly finishing plans to cut thousands of jobs from the company's payroll.

Slowing sales and a decline in profit are prompting the makeover. Cisco said in May that it would cut annual expenses by $1 billion and close underperforming units. noted that Chambers focused on his company's transformation in his remarks and didn't specifically address the looming layoffs.

A Cisco spokeswoman told MarketWatch that her company detail the cost reductions, including layoffs, during an Aug. 10 earnings call.

Bloomberg News, citing unnamed sources, has reported that Cisco may cut about 10,000 employees, or nearly 14 percent of its work force.

MarketWatch said Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu wrote in a report that "the higher end" of the estimated job-cut range of 7,000 to 10,000 "is likely higher than most anticipated."

Cisco shares rose 17 cents, or 1.1 percent, Tuesday to close at $15.60 on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.