Cisco to add 550 Research Triangle Park jobs by 2017

Jun. 06, 2014 @ 06:27 PM

Cisco Systems Inc. plans to add 550 jobs across three years in the Research Triangle Park, the governor and company officials announced on Friday.

The California-based networking technology company will add a mix of finance, operations and network services workers by 2017 based out of the Research Triangle Park campus. That’s on top of the 4,600 people the company already employs in the state, according to a Cisco spokeswoman. 

“We are very excited to have this opportunity and we are pleased the state has awarded us the Job Development investment grant so that we may expand our presence here in RTP and help support innovation and economic growth in this region,” said Ed Paradise, Cisco’s site executive in the RTP.

In an interview at the Cisco RTP campus on Friday, Paradise said North Carolina was competing against Texas and Georgia for the investment.

To help land the jobs, North Carolina officials awarded the company a tax incentive package of performance-based grants worth $12.9 million across 12 years.

The grants are based on 75 percent of the state personal income tax withholdings from the eligible new jobs. The grants will be awarded only if the company proves it meets its job-creation targets.

The average annual salary for the new jobs is expected to be at least $72,700 plus benefits. That’s above the average annual wage in Wake County, which is $49,410, according to a news release from Gov. Pat McCrory’s office.

Gary Moore, Cisco’s president and chief operating officer, said the company plans to replace workers laid off in the latest company restructuring before beginning to hire the workers covered by the incentive.

Last August, the company announced a plan to cut about 4,000 workers from its global workforce. Cisco did not specify the impact on its Research Triangle Park operations.

“As a company with 76,000 people, and the way technology is changing, we have to be in a position to manage our workforce in a way where (we’re) upgrading skills, we’re also moving out of certain businesses, and where we can, we transfer (employees),” Moore said in an interview with reporters on Friday. “And where we can’t (transfer), we treat them extremely fairly.”

A “very small” number of people were laid off in the latest restructuring, which Moore said was about making room for new capacity.

“We will rehire all of that number before the 500 starts, and in fact we’re very comfortable in being able to do that,” he said.

In the announcement Friday, Moore spoke to a crowd of employees, reporters, and local officials along with Gov. Pat McCrory and Paradise.

Moore spoke about the expected global explosion in Internet-connected devices that has already started. He said that in addition to allowing people to connect with each other, it’s about connecting “people, processes, data.”

“It’s amazing the work that automotive is doing connecting cars, the work that the service providers are doing to enable that,” he said. “It’s just amazing work and Cisco’s at the heart of that, you saw some of that technology in the other room.”

Moore referenced a tour that employees gave to McCrory. They demonstrated how a new Cisco product could allow a person on an iPad to speak to, and video chat with, a mortgage loan officer through the website.

Founded in San Jose, California, in 1984, Cisco does business in more than 165 countries. In the third quarter of its fiscal year, Cisco reported that it saw a 5.5 percent decline in total revenues to $5.5 billion. Its net income was down to $2.2 billion.