Agogbua resurfaces, T-Networks and Continuum make cuts, and Bandwidth9 changes markets

June 9, 2003

4 Min Read
Headcount: Memo Minder

Apparently Headcount isn't the only "human resources analysis" column in the mix (see Headcount: Such Language!). There's at least one other columnist that spends waaaay too much time reading through personnel reduction memos.

In her Monday column, Lucy Kellaway of London's Financial Times took time to deconstruct the emails and memos that big companies are using to fire people these days, from their upbeat subject lines to their tendency to blame management mistakes on just about anything (the economy, the customer, the weather, SARS) that is outside a company's control.

Kellaway smartly notes that behind most layoffs lies a management mistake. She fails, however, to make enough of the fact that often the most bloated and meandering memos are also the funniest to read and share with friends, such as your dear old chums here at Headcount. We'd like to see even more. By all means, when some stout prose fattens up your inbox, drop us a line, will ya?

Meanwhile, pardon us while we dash off a few wandering paragraphs of our own as we review some of the past week's most interesting hirings, firings, and other personnel-related news:

  • Movaz Networks Inc. has made some interesting appointments of late. The company added John Beagley as its senior VP of global sales and Johnson Agogbua as it senior VP of network quality and customer service. Agogbua was formerly president of Zephion Networks, which splintered off from Broadband Office (BBO), a company Agogbua founded. Both BBO and Zephion came home feet-first. (see Zephion: Anatomy of a Debacle, Kleiner Readies BBO's Rebirth, and Kleiner Perkins Builds Backbone Carrier ).

    Movaz reported a headcount of about 200 in late 2002, while the number hovers closer to 150 these days, sources say. In a May 28 press release, CEO Bijan Khosravi says Movaz will double the size of its sales and customer service teams in the next 12 months. The company says it now has five open position in sales and eight open jobs in customer service.

  • Pennsylvania components maker T-Networks Inc. has cut an indeterminable number of staff last week. "I can say that the company is smaller than it was last week," says Lauren Turkel, the company's HR director. In late April, it was announced that the company's chief financial officer, Keith Schneck, had left to join Neoware Systems Inc. Turkel says T-Networks CEO Aaron Fisher is now handling Schneck's duties.

  • Continuum Photonics Inc. has recently trimmed its ranks as well in the process of "reshaping resources," according to founder Aaron Bent. Interestingly, Bent says that those let go were primarily non-telecom people -- those focused on other businesses such as military, aerospace, and consumer products. Bent doesn't want to comment directly on how the telecom side of Continuum's business is doing, but says that there is an advertised opening for a VP of sales and other positions at the company.

  • Component maker Centellax Inc. has cut five people, leaving it with 23, according to a recent report in The (Santa Rosa, Calif.) Press Democrat (PD). Headcount has nothing to add, expect to point out that Centellax sounds like a prescription anti-depressant.

  • In nearby Petaluma, the PD reports that Sonoma County Job Link, a career counseling service, is shutting down its satellite office. Headcount guesses you can only say, "Get out of telecom!" so many times before you've worn out your welcome.

  • Correction: Headcount incorrectly intimated that Hatch Graham was done with his tour of duty at Bandwidth9 Inc. But then we got this note from Graham, who is also chairman of Wave7 Optics Inc. and interim CEO of Arroyo Optics.

    "I'm still the CEO at Bandwidth9, which is making progress in its transition to another market, mainly datacom-oriented," Graham writes via email. "We've streamlined substantially, but have plenty of cash, and expect to complete the development work on a couple of exciting products by year's end."

    Here's a summary of other industry appointments (and disappointments) from the past several days:

    • EXFO Lays Off 30%

    • Blue Coat Closes Quarter

    • Arrow Cuts 400

    • Cincinnati Bell Chairman Steps Down

    • Lemur Names Sales Chief

    • Polaris Picks Ops Boss

    • MCI Hires EMEA S&M Chief

    • UTStarcom Names Head of Biz Dev

    • CoreOptics Hires NA S&M VP

    • Caerus Hires CTO/Technology VP

    • Anritsu Adds Euro Sales Manager

    • US LEC Hires OSS Expert as CIO

    Got any other grist for the mill? We don't have a mill and we aren't even sure what grist is, but we'll gladly take your personnel-related news tips at [email protected].

    — Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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