Employees dismissed over alleged discounting discrepancies

August 16, 2004

1 Min Read
Cisco Fires Israel Sales Staff

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) has fired a number of sales staff from its business in Israel following allegations of discounting irregularities.

Up to seven employees have been dismissed, though Cisco would not confirm the exact number of staff affected and wouldn't provide details about the sackings.

"We don't comment on individual employees or their circumstances. It's an internal issue, but some people left the Israel office last week," says spokesman David Cook, adding that the number of people involved is "within one or two" of the five reported by Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

The root cause is believed to be the arrangement of unauthorized discounts to customers and the way these were recorded in sales records, according to various Israeli media reports. Cisco declined to comment on whether those reports are accurate.

It did, however, issue a statement in response to reports of the sackings: "Cisco does not comment on rumor or speculation. As we've said, integrity and trust are core values of Cisco's culture and any behaviour that does not support this is not acceptable and will be dealt with appropriately."

Cook also noted that, contrary to some reports, the head of Cisco's business in Israel is not among those that have been dismissed. He says Jorge Botifoll, one of a number of vice presidents for the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region, is the acting country manager of Cisco Israel, has been for the past six months, and will be for the foreseeable future.

Cisco's staffing upset in Israel follows a number of more high profile dismissals at rival vendors this year (see Nortel Fires CEO, Lucent Purges China Leaders, and Sonus Files, Share Price Rockets).

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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