Juniper Networks Inc. is laying off about 500 employees, many of them reportedly from the QFabric product lines.
The news was reported by TechTarget on Friday morning and is being confirmed by Juniper in the form of a press statement:
As we disclosed on our second quarter 2012 earnings conference call, Juniper is working to align its resources to improve productivity and effectiveness, enabling us to deliver our roadmap for innovation and unprecedented value to customers and shareholders. As a result of this important initiative, we are reducing our workforce by approximately 500 people in functions across the Company.
TechTarget cites sources saying that QFabric, specifically, is going to get hit. Juniper has been announcing customers for the technology, but most of them are only using the top-of-rack switch rather than the actual fabric -- the cool part.
Juniper ended the June quarter with 9,373 employees, so the cuts amount to about 5 percent of the company.
Why this matters
The bloom is off the rose at Juniper. Kevin Johnson came in as CEO with ambitions to strengthen the company's software side -- presaging the industry-wide software-defined networking (SDN) craze -- and with Juniper on the brink of several big product launches.
Of those, MobileNext, a 4G evolved packet core, is looking like a dud, and QFabric, while gaining some customers, hasn't excited analysts with its progress so far.
Juniper's stock price is down about 9 percent compared with a year ago; by contrast, the Nasdaq composite is up about 25 percent.
Juniper shares were down 56 cents (3%) at $17.11 on Friday.
â€” Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading