Sponsored By

Headcount: Cutting the Fat (Really)Headcount: Cutting the Fat (Really)

SBC cuts; Axiowave cuts; Verizon cuts, then adds; something's amiss at Network Elements

November 8, 2004

4 Min Read
Headcount: Cutting the Fat (Really)

With all the makeovers happening at the nation's incumbent phone companies, Headcount wonders how soon it will be before the RBOCs end up as contestants on The Swan?

How alarming would it be if The Swan host Amanda Byram were at the next earnings conference call, offering hugs and kind words for sniffling executives? "I know it's tough to live up to what all the cable companies are doing," she might say. "But if you just shed some costs, add some services, and stop blaming all your troubles on the FCC, you'll do just fine."

Perhaps this column should just end on a surreal high, but, as format requires, we move on. Here are some telecom industry hirings and firings from the past few days:

  • Going Beyond the Pink Slip: SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC) whispered late last week that it may whack more than 10,000 jobs by the end of next year.

    No surprise there. Even its latest round of commercials for DSL service features the animated stars of The Incredibles instead of real people.

    Here's what SBC said on the subject late last week, via its SEC filings:

    Over the past 12 months, we have reduced our workforce by approximately 7,000, primarily through normal attrition. Based on a number of initiatives to improve efficiencies, we currently anticipate there will continue to be additional workforce reductions through attrition or involuntary programs that could exceed 10,000 by December 31, 2005.

    SBC employs 165,500 now, and one of those folks, as announced today, is Dan York, an IPTV specialist. Prior to joining SBC, York had his own media consultancy, The York Group, and, before that, he held the title of Senior Vice President, Programming & Development at In Demand Networks, a leading pay-per-view content company.

    • Hire Ground: Do SBC's layoffs contrast with what Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is doing by hiring an extra 3,000 to 5,000 staff by the end of 2005 for its FTTP (fiber to the premises) buildout?

      Not really. That carrier has been able to pay for those extra resources by tightening up in other areas (see Verizon Expands FTTP Plan). Between September 30, 2003, and September 30, 2004, the carrier cut 11,700 people from its payroll -- about 5.3 percent of its workforce, according to SEC filings.

      • Core Pouting: Routing startup Axiowave Networks Inc. has cut 84 percent of its staff. The company says it is "reducing the number of company employees from 156 to 25, primarily across its sales, marketing, and engineering operations."

        The cuts were needed to save cash while it hunts for more funding. According to a statement on its Website, "Axiowave will continue to support its customers and existing product line during this restructuring," and more information will be available on the company's fate in the next 30 days.

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like