On the same day U.S. unemployment numbers disappointed, sending Wall Street tumbling, Cisco Systems Inc. offered a small ray of hope.
The California-based networking equipment giant said on Friday it will hire 3,000 workers worldwide this quarter and next. That news came out of the Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. investor conference in New York, where Cisco CEO John Chambers gave a speech.
Chambers already had told analysts a few weeks ago he wanted to move hiring at a faster pace; there’s particular demand in sales and new markets, he said.
On Friday, Chambers further said he wants to add 20 percent more “market-adjacent” businesses each year in areas such as portable video, high-end video conferencing and smart power grids for cities.
On top of all of that, Chambers plans to remain at Cisco’s helm for another three to five years. He’s worked at Cisco since 1991.
The optimistic jobs report from Cisco came on the same day U.S. unemployment numbers improved somewhat, but only thanks to U.S. Census Bureau hiring. Private-sector figures spooked investors and Wall Street closed 3 percent lower. Shares of Cisco closed down 3.23 percent at $22.96.
Still, Cisco can afford to add employees. In mid-May, Cisco reported a $2.2 billion profit from what Chambers called “probably the strongest quarter” in the company’s history. Reaching that point wasn’t easy, though. Like most other companies, Cisco suffered through the global economic recession, implementing cost-cuts including layoffs and travel reductions to wait out the slowdown.