Headcount: Time to Punt?Headcount: Time to Punt?
Crescent Networks and Yafo Networks wind down; Avici shakes up sales; Tellium and Atoga cut deep
January 13, 2003
Fresh from a serene weekend of watching football, Headcount is ready to run down the most interesting hirings and firings of the past week:
Yafo Networks will shut its doors for good on January 21, according to a letter sent to workers regarding Yafo's corporate-sponsored 401K program. Since its inception, Yafo had raised $61 million in funding to solve the problem of polarization mode dispersion (PMD) on ultra high-speed networks. At its peak, the startup had more than 100 employees.
Atoga Systems has confirmed that it cut more than 20 workers last week, bringing its staff size down to about 31 people. P.G. Menon, Atoga's VP of marketing, says Atoga is restructuring and has three options: It can seek more funding, look for a buyer, or liquidate its assets. Menon says his team will know soon if the end is really near. "We aren't quite at the point where we need to liquidate. We still have some time."
Tunable laser vendor Bandwidth9 Inc. has cut its staff to 49 and is looking for a buyer. "We are looking at several options," says Bandwidth9 CEO Hatch Graham. "One of them is M&A activity."
He doesn't seem worried about potential takers. "It's not a question of interest; it's a question of whether they can afford us," Graham says.
In addition, Bandwidth9 has consolidated its manufacturing in Fremont, Calif., closing down a facility in Atlanta. Bandwidth9's most recent round of funding was in September 2000 (see Bandwidth9 Raises $80 Million).
Edge router vendor Crescent Networks is winding down its business, according to a reliable source. Evidently, the company never recovered fully from its October 2002 restructuring, when it cut staff down to about 21 people (see Crescent is Waning). Our source says Crescent got some nods from European carriers, but booking the sales took longer than the company's cash would allow, and its venture capitalists opted not to keep it afloat. Crescent raised about $66 million in financing since its inception.
Optical switch maker Tellium Inc. (Nasdaq: TELM) cut its headcount by 130 employees, or 40 percent of its workforce (see Tellium Lays Off 130). In mid 2001, Tellium's roster had swelled to more than 500, but now it's back down to roughly 195. The company expects that, beginning in the second quarter, the job cuts will save it about $4 million a quarter in operating expenses.
Avici Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: AVCI; Frankfurt: BVC7) says it has made some changes in its sales staff as it moves to sales assignments based on channels and major accounts. Senior VP of worldwide sales Chris Simpson and VP of North American sales Phil Wonderley are out, the company says. Rick Ford has taken the post of worldwide channel sales, and George Oliver has taken the title of VP of North America sales; both report to Avici CEO Steve Kaufman.
Headcount was having a bowl of Puffins this morning when we noticed that Cirrex Corp.'s picture was on the milk carton. Folks have had a difficult time reaching anyone at the company for several weeks. The company's answering service invites callers to "leave a voicemail message on the company mailbox," but, unfortunately, the mailbox is full. Has the company gone the way of the Dodo?
How many folks are left at WaveSplitter Technologies Inc.? That's a question CEO Sheau Sheng Chen finally shed some light on: "When it's all said and done, we'll probably stabilize at around 50 people," down from about 60 now, he says. At one time WaveSplitter employed 303, according to some old Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings.
Here's a summary of other industry appointments (and disappointments) from the past several days:
Intel Promotes VPs
France Names New Regulatory Chair
WaveSmith Overhaul Ousts Founders
Polaris Picks Panditi as CEO
C&W Brings in Lapthorne
Internet Photonics Hires Cable VP
Carlyle Hires Directors
DigiLens Shrinks Another 50 Percent
Transmode Steals Nortel VP
Acopia Appoints VP
Cedar Point Hires Wray West
Gigabit Optics Hires Sales VPThat's all for now. If we missed anything, please send a tip to [email protected]. Until next time, we're counting down the days until we'll be back on the couch for more painted face fanaticism and football foolishness.
— Phil Harvey, Marguerite Reardon, Pauline Rigby, and Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editors, Light ReadingLarry, Monkey, contributed to this report.
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