Splunk cuts 7% of workforce ahead of Cisco acquisition

Network management and visualization vendor Splunk, which is set to be acquired by Cisco in a $28 billion deal, will cut about 560 jobs in a global restructuring, the company announced Wednesday in an SEC filing.

Splunk president and CEO Gary Steele said in the filing that employees in the Americas set to lose their jobs will be notified throughout today, and that the company plans to offer severance packages to laid-off employees, as well as healthcare coverage and job placement assistance for an undisclosed length of time.

The announcement comes after Splunk announced a first wave of 325 job cuts in February.

“The overall market has retracted and we expect the macro environment will continue to be unpredictable for the foreseeable future,” Steele’s message to employees said.

The cuts amount to 7% of Splunk’s global workforce, according to Steele’s filing, and are unrelated to the company’s pending acquisition by networking giant Cisco, which was initially announced in September of this year. (Splunk employed roughly 8,000 people globally as of early 2023, according to Macrotrends, which represents an increase of more than 14% from its 2022 totals.)

“The changes we are announcing are not a result of our agreement with Cisco; they are the continuation of the important initiatives we’ve undertaken across Splunk for more than a year to align our resources and operating structure to deliver ongoing and incremental value for our customers,” Steele said.

Though technology companies announced massive layoffs last year, 2023 has been  much worse. Tech suppliers went on a hiring binge during the pandemic when lockdowns sparked a tech buying spree to support remote work, only to face revenue declines as COVID cases subsided.

Meanwhile Splunk’s $28 billion price tag for the Cisco acquisiton reflects the value placed on the company’s observability products, which are central for the type of network traffic monitoring required for the modern threat environment. Those capabilities will complement Cisco’s already extensive network security portfolio, and integrate with the larger company’s existing XDR and Security Cloud platforms.

Cisco said that, when both companies’ products are combined, it will be able to offer what it called “full stack observability,” providing end-to-end visibility into network traffic moving on a user’s systems.

That’s partially due to complementary but not overlapping nature of the two companies’ offerings, Cisco chair and CEO Chuck Robbins told Network World in September.

“I don’t think we have significant overlap,” he said. “But I think we have if you think about the data platform and the observability progress that [Splunk] has made, and you couple that with our application visibility with ThousandEyes we think we can actually extend well.”

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