Cisco Systems began offering early retirement buyouts to some U.S. and Canadian employees this week, the latest cost-cutting effort by the technology company.
Cisco didn't disclose details of the program, including how many people will get an offer, or how many the company hopes will take it.
But hundreds could be affected at the California company's Research Triangle Park campus, where it employs about 4,900 people. The minimum age for the buyouts is 50 for Cisco workers with 10 years experience with the company.
Cisco last offered buyouts in 2009, a year when it eliminated thousands of jobs worldwide to offset slower sales during the recession.
"Cisco employs a variety of different methods to control costs and align investment dollars, and offering this voluntary early retirement program to those eligible employees in the U.S. and Canada is part of our ongoing commitment to responsible business management," spokeswoman Karen Tillman said in a prepared statement.
The eligible employees will receive their packets May 10 and will work their last day July 8.
The buyouts are not necessarily targeted at the best-paid employees. Those who are ineligible are vice presidents and more senior positions, Distinguished Engineers, Fellows and Sales' Chairman's Club winners.
"The company made a business decision to retain specific roles to ensure continuity of high-profile, business-critical projects and initiatives," Cisco said in a memo to employees.
CEO John Chambers warned employees in a memo this month that the company needed to make major changes to improve its business and focus its strategy. Chambers didn't specify what steps he's planning, but wrote that "you will see Cisco make a number of targeted moves in the coming weeks."
The first step was announcing plans to close its Flip videocamera division, restructure its consumer business and lay off 550 people.
The company's main business is selling computer-networking equipment and services.
Cisco shares fell 33 cents to close at $17.19 today. The stock is down 36 percent in the past year.