Cisco laying off 5,500 employees, or 7 percent of workforce

Cisco Systems is laying off 5,500 employees as the internet gear maker scrambles to adapt to a technology upheaval that has triggered similar cutbacks to other storied tech companies.

The shake-up announced Wednesday means about 7 percent of Cisco’s roughly 74,000 workers will lose their jobs beginning this summer.

The purge is the latest fallout by a relentless march of innovation that has forced some of the world’s biggest and oldest technology companies to head in new directions in search of revenue growth.

Others that have been laying off thousands of workers while overhauling their product lines include Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker; Intel, the world’s largest maker of computer chips; and HP, a Silicon Valley pioneer that went to the extreme of splitting itself into two separate companies that have continued to cut back.