Cisco Faces an HQ Hangover

By Hirst, Clayton | The Independent (London, England), May 13, 2001 | Go to article overview
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Cisco Faces an HQ Hangover


Hirst, Clayton, The Independent (London, England)


CISCO SYSTEMS, the internet giant that last week posted its first- ever loss, faces a multi-million-pound hangover from committing to glitzy offices in the UK at the peak of the technology boom.

The US company, which is to axe 8,500 jobs worldwide, is expected to reveal how many UK jobs will go at the end of May.

Property experts predict that the company, run by the evangelical John Chambers, will be forced to sublet up to a million square feet of offices it signed for last year.

The news will be an embarrassment to the company that last year was the bellwether of the new economy in the US. Once the darling of the Nasdaq, Cisco almost nudged General Electric off its pedestal as the world's largest company. At the time, Mr Chambers was to be found pressing the flesh with world leaders, including Tony Blair and Bill Clinton.

But Cisco's fall from grace is expected to be graphically illustrated in the UK. The company's main UK base is at Stockley Park, west London, but it plans to move its operations in five to seven years to a new hi- tech business campus at Green Park, near Reading. Last year it signed a deal to lease 1.23m square feet of office space at the campus - more than five times the size of its holdings at Stockley Park.

Property companies now expect Cisco to put around half of the office space back on the market.

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