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CCIEs appear to have become an endangered species at Cisco, only 630 remain
Fri, 4/29/11 - 7:07am    View comments

Update 5-21-2011:

More than 4,000 CCIEs work at Cisco

Cisco Certified CCIECiscoOne of the most closely guarded secrets held by Cisco (how many CCIEs are actually employed by Cisco?):


Was remarkably revealed on page 4 of Cisco's new white paper that was released earlier this week:

When "Good Enough" Is Not Good Enough - Debunking the Myths of a "Good Enough" Network

The above white paper was published by Cisco hoping that it would refute the highly controversial findings published in the following Gartner Report:

Debunking the Myth of the Single-Vendor Network

Amazingly up until this week, nobody in the CCIE Community knew how may CCIEs were employed by Cisco, now many CCIEs are in a "state of shock" at the surprisingly low count - 630, see the below image that appeared on page 4 of Cisco's new white paper:

How many CCIEs are employed by Cisco
Source: Cisco Systems

Two Questions:

1.  Of the remaining 630 CCIEs employed by Cisco, how many of those CCIEs will be able to meet the eligibility requirements for Cisco's new 2011 voluntary enhanced early retirement program (EER)?
2.  I mean, what kind of risk do you think Cisco is taking with regard to it losing even more CCIEs who are now eligible for the early retirement progam?

An opinion piece from Dual CCIE #18532, Router/Switch & Security - George Morton:

George Morton     I have to say that I am surprised that so few Cisco employees are active CCIEs. I thought the number would be higher, but considering that Cisco does not really consider the CCIE track critical to Cisco, it makes sense.

I have seen too many CCIE friends leave Cisco because of the MBA management who hate CCIEs with a passion. The Cisco MBAs don't know Dunn's Law, "What you don't know, you don't know - and you can't make it up." So when a CCIE says, "What?!?"

"They must go" is the middle-management cry!

I have always seen Cisco in three phases:

  1. First Phase discovery of the company 1984-1990, little "c" Cisco Systems.
  2. Second Phase the Cowboy years from 1990-2001, with Bridges-Routers-Switches-Internet all with intense competitive pressure, big "C" Cisco Systems.
  3. Third Phase maturing management years 2001-2011, with massive hiring of technical managers replacing the Engineering Cowboys. During this time we have seen the continued high sales of Switches, Routers and Voice, but the continued disappointment of stock performance by management.
Maybe it is time to allow the CCIE Cowboys to return? I don't think that is going to happen. With the current layoff plans, the mission seems to kill the last of the Cowboys, rather than rekindle the competitive spirit that was Cisco Systems.

So what next for Cisco? Disappointment I am afraid.

If I was invited to Cisco to rebuild the stock performance, my mantra would be the "Sum of the Parts is Greater than the Whole."

I would break the company into the IT version of Berkshire Hathaway.

I would rekindle the Cowboy hustle. If VMware was 100% Cisco, it would have died already. Free the divisions that were once promising companies, be a 40% to 100% investor, but let them go from the stifling IBM management with their MBA marketing consumer profile studies.

Remember Dunn's Law - Cisco!

View more CCIE Water Cooler Gossip.

Related stories:

More than 4,000 CCIEs work at Cisco

First 2 Cisco Certified Architects (CCAr) jump to HP Networking

What's your take, are you surprised that only 630 CCIEs are employed by Cisco?

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