Local News

Cisco Systems Continues Expansion of RTP Operations

Posted August 3, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Research Triangle Park will soon get another 2,000 jobs, thanks to Cisco Systems. The company is growing by leaps and bounds and making its presence felt here in the Triangle.

It is no secret that Cisco Systems is a world leader in Internet networking. The RTP campus represents very quick growth. Wednesday, three more large buildings took form, setting the stage for Cisco's work force to double in the area over the next couple of years.

Five years ago, Cisco broke ground on its first Research Triangle Park building. The campus is the East Coast headquarters for the California-based company. Their sixth building is now ready for employees. Three new buildings across Kit Creek Road hold the promise of more growth here than in Silicon Valley.

"We've always had a goal that as a percentage, we would like the growth on the East Coast, and specifically RTP, to grow faster than it would in Silicon Valley," says Selby Wellman, general manager of Cisco Systems RTP.

That's because skilled employees are difficult to find in California. It is surfacing as a problem in the Triangle as well.

"Right now, it runs around 50-50 of our new people that come from other companies in the park and nearby areas, and the other 50 percent are clearly outside the state," Wellman said.

Employees and construction workers signed a symbolic beam that was hoisted to the top of building nine, which is set to open in April 2001.

"These three buildings represent as many square feet as the other six buildings that had previously been built so that gives you some idea of just how fast Cisco is growing," says James Roberson with the Research Triangle Park Foundation.

Cisco now has 19,000 employees worldwide with revenues of $12 billion. Wellman says if business remains strong for the next four or five years, Cisco will have 40,000 employees worldwide -- many of them here in the Triangle.

"Seven, eight and nine that's what we're topping out today -- ten, eleven and twelve are on the boards now," Wellman said.

Cisco is one of many technology companies growing in the Triangle.