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Layoffs Level LaserComm

Components startup sends 30 packing as long-haul sector remains stalled

April 30, 2002

1 Min Read
Layoffs Level LaserComm

LaserComm Inc., a components startup targeting long-haul systems vendors, laid off about 30 people last Tuesday, according to a source close to the company. The cuts were made in marketing, sales, and manufacturing; this was the third layoff in the startup's two-year history.

Now that carriers are pushing long-haul system purchases even further into the future, its no surprise that LaserComm and its peers will have to cut costs and go into hibernation for a while (see LaserComm Teams With PhotonEx).

Since last summer, LaserComm has gone from a staff of more than 200 to around 70 people. Late in 2000, LaserComm announced plans to grow to more than 220 employees by the end of 2001 (see LaserComm Announces Major Expansion). In December 2001, however, the company had a round of layoffs and among those cut were Darrell Maronde, LaserComm's director of marketing. Mark Stubbe, LaserComm's VP of sales and marketing, resigned in January 2002.

LaserComm confirmed that the layoffs occurred, but declined to say specifically how many employees were involved. "We're a components company, and in these market conditions, we just can't justify having a full manufacturing staff," says Mark Barratt, LaserComm's VP of business development and product planning.

LaserComm's product helps systems vendors move more data at faster rates over longer distances by managing chromatic dispersion. In 2001, the company won KPMG's "Product of the Year" (North Texas) High Tech Award. [This year, due to the sour economy, KPMG put the kibosh on honoring the area's tech companies.]

The company announced its fourth funding round, worth $21 million, in January. It has raised $77 million to date (see LaserComm Grabs $21 Million).

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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