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Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit

People have been shuffled -- but products, headcount, and direction pretty much stay the same, Cisco says

October 30, 2002

3 Min Read
Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit

Earlier this month, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) quietly reshuffled its Optical Networking Group (ONG).

So far, the only outwardly noticeable effect of the reorganization is the fact that Cisco has said it will close its Hagersten, Sweden, photonics unit (see Cisco Intends to Close Swedish Plant). [Ed. note: For any Swedish officials reading this, the company said it "intends" to close these facilities, so as not to cross your labor laws.]

Cisco maintains that its product roadmap and technology vision remain the same. It also says no other jobs or facilities will be affected besides the 60-plus employees it intends to eliminate in Sweden.

Cisco's ONG realignment is mostly cosmetic. The company can't say specifically where it has changed or intensified spending, focus, or personnel.

"As Cisco pursues market-leading positions in the multi-service switching platform (MSSP) and metro segments of the optical networking market, we will continue to focus on increasing our market share within the available market," writes a Cisco spokeperson in an email exchange with Light Reading. Does that clear things up? Thought so.

Cisco's intentions regarding its Swedish plant "didn't come as a surprise," according to Anders Lundberg, CEO of Lumentis AB. "Cisco probably has some very good reasons to consolidate and bring their optical people and products together back in the States. From that point of view, I personally don't think that this has anything to do with Sweden as a location."

Internally, Cisco has moved some things around. Its optical group is now made up of three main areas, with each area head reporting to Jayshree Ullal, the senior VP of Cisco's ONG.

The first group, ONG operations, will be led by former Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. (FNC) executive Ron Martin, who joined Cisco in May 2002 (see Fujitsu's Martin Joins Cisco).

The company's ONG product area will be led by three executives. Tom Fallon will lead the ONS 15300 series products. The main product in this group is the 15327, a small Sonet add/drop multiplexer (ADM) that replaces the discontinued ONS 15303 and ONS 15304, according to Cisco's Website.

Massimo Prati is in charge of the ONS 15500 series metro DWDM boxes and its 15600 multiservice provisioning platforms. Gary Baldwin will assume control of Cisco's ONS 15400 series products, which include the ONS 15454 Sonet ADM.

Finally, the division's product planning and photonics areas will be headed by Rajiv Ramaswami, who joined Cisco in September 2002. He was formerly VP for systems architecture at Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT).

ONG was formerly split into four business units – Metropolitan, Optical Transport, Optical Management, and Photonics.

Cisco says it remains committed to ONG but won't say what its group or product revenues are, and it won't comment on how ONG performs financially, relative to the company's other product groups.

Cisco's overall headcount dropped to 35,566 in mid 2002, down about 10 percent from its year-ago total of 39,660.

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading
www.lightreading.comMovers and shakers from more than 100 companies – including Cisco Systems – will be speaking at Lightspeed Europe. Check it outat Lightspeed Europe 02.

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