Headcount: Less Is More

Dacom gets a new chief, Cicada to shrink after acquisition, and Emperative employees write some wrongs

December 29, 2003

3 Min Read
Headcount: Less Is More

Many venture capitalists are expecting good times ahead in 2004, with more opportunities in the startup sector. This week, in fact, the National Venture Capital Association provided a list of generally sunny prognostications by its members for the 2004 venture funding climate.

This could be good news, because if VCs are funding, then startups (and their competitors) will hire more talent, and that will mean fewer layoffs and more jobs.

Well, maybe.

Mark Heesen, president of the NVCA, provides an important sound bite: "While we expect investment levels to remain steady in 2004, the year will be incredibly dynamic in terms of the industry doing much more with less."

"Doing more with less" isn't just a throwaway line from Headcount's bachelor days – it really does have a meaning for how startups are built and run these days. So we offer this prediction for the telecom workforce in 2004: There will be an increase in companies started and services performed, and but not necessarily in the number of folks employed.

While you ponder that, we'll go ahead and lay out a few notable hirings and firings from the past couple of weeks:

  • Just lucky, I guess: Jung Hong-shik has taken the top job at Dacom Corp., replacing chairman and chief executive officer Park Un-suh, the companies announced last week. Jung was formerly president of LG Group's telecom business division. Dacom, one of South Korea's largest telecom operators, is but one of LG Group's 50 affiliated companies. The conglomerate used to go by the name Lucky Goldstar, which Headcount finds terribly amusing, though not really relevant to Mr. Hong-shik's job change.

  • A plague of locusts: By the time Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: VTSS) completes its acquisition of Cicada Semiconductor Inc., Cicada will have cut its workforce to about 40 employees, most of whom will be working in product development, Vitesse announced Monday (see Vitesse Buys GigE Ammo). A Cicada spokesman told Byte and Switch that there are more than 50 Cicadas employed at the moment. A more exact number was tough to nab, however, considering that all the senior managers of both Vitesse and Cicada are off this week.

  • Just axing: Headcount has received tips that Azanda Network Devices cut anywhere from 10 percent to 30 percent of its staff as it closed its recent funding round (see Azanda Moves On). What happened? We're not sure yet. According to its PR firm, Azanda's managers can't be reached for comment this week.

  • It's for you: The CEO and chairman of U.K. retailer Carphone Warehouse will give 2.5 million shares and 1.75 million shares, respectively, to some of their company's top managers as a holiday incentive, according to a report in the Financial Times.

  • Mail call: "In the November 11 column (see Headcount: Numbers Games ), you wondered if Emperative Inc. was shutting down," writes one Headcount reader. "I can't say anything that might be construed as 'disparaging' because I signed a severance document prohibiting it, but I can say:

    • [The Website] www.emperative.com isn't up anymore;

    • If you call the engineering office, the line's disconnected; and

    • My last day on the payroll was November 14th... and I wasn't fired."

    And here are some further appointments, disappointments, and other employment-related headlines from the past several days:

    • 2003 Top Ten: Startup Flameouts

    • NetLogic Names VP of Marketing

    • Motorola Names New CEO

    • Ingalls Succeeds Gordon at Verizon

    • Poll Explores Offshoring Gains

    • Dune Announces Sales VP and HQ

    • Force10 Appoints Korea Country Manager

    • Lucent Names Market Boss

    • 8x8 Gets New Chair

    • Axerra Names US Sales VP

    • Intel Adds VPs

    • Zhone Closes NJ Center

    • Satellite Carrier Cuts Staff

    • AT&T Freezes Pay

    That's all for this... year! Thanks for making Headcount the most widely-read semi-regular telecom employment column on Light Reading. While we pop the seal on a fresh box of wine and ponder how we can do more with less, we hope you'll keep those news tips coming to [email protected].

    — Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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