Headcount: Give Me Liberty

Tellabs prepares to cut, Mahi hires sales muscle, Nortel vet founds a startup, and Jedai is not dead yet

March 31, 2003

4 Min Read
Headcount: Give Me Liberty

Over the weekend, Headcount got to feel what it was like to view the Iraq war from an embedded position. Embedded deep into in the living room sofa, that is.

Actually, the war-watching has become tiring, especially because most of the reports from the field are incomplete. It's a bit like tuning into a football game and only getting to see the offense. We're not sure what the solution is, but it's hard not to think of Orwell's observation that if liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

Okay, enough war chatter. It's time to get to this past week's most interesting hirings, firings, and other work-related news from the telecom world:

  • Last Friday marked the deadline day for Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA) employees who wanted to volunteer to be included in the company's upcoming layoffs. Tellabs now has 4,700 employees and hasn't publicly said how many it will cut, nor has it disclosed how many volunteers have stepped up to take one for the team. The company was asking for volunteers as a way of keeping its employees more informed about its workforce reduction plans. Tellabs is making the staff cuts to keep its expenses more in line with its revenues. The company is set to announce earnings on April 16.

  • Masoud Vaziri, the former director of lightwave system design for Nortel Networks Corp.'s (NYSE/Toronto: NT) LH4000 platform, has founded a new company called dBQ Lab Photonics Testworks in Richardson, Texas. When Headcount met Vaziri at the OFC Conference in Atlanta, he said he had left Nortel very recently and he's not ready to share details about his startup just yet.

  • Mahi Networks Inc. has hired Wade Wulster as its regional VP of sales for the Eastern U.S. Wulster, who has done stints with Sycamore Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: SCMR) and BrightLink Networks, was most recently the account director for Tellabs' AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) business.

  • After pummeling the components makers, systems vendors, and telecom operators for so many months, the recession is finally taking a whack at the contract manufacturing sector, the guys who initially benefitted from the industry's flight to downsizing and outsourcing. This month Solectron Corp. (NYSE: SLR) announced it will cut 12,000 of its 74,000 staff while reducing its manufacturing capacity by about 3 million square feet. To put it differently, the company is cutting roughly one out of every six employees and is shedding two Georgia Domes worth of manufacturing capacity.

  • Atiq Raza has denied rumors that he is starting up a chip company that will stand on the decomposing shoulders of several of his deceased startups (see Headcount: Tell It Like It Is). Weeks ago, a few folks were telling Headcount that Raza's plan was to salvage some of the intellectual property developed by a few of the startups he funded through Raza Foundries. Raza says those rumors are false. However, Headcount would like to point out that Raza has been answering his email lately from an address that contains the razamicroelectronics.com suffix. It turns out www.razamicroelectronics.com is a domain owned by Raza Foundries. Of course, we're not saying Mr. Raza is for sure opening up a new chip company. We are, however, noting that if he were to do so, Razamicroelectronics would be a truly catchy name for it.

  • Accelerant Networks Inc. has cut about one quarter of its staff this month, according to president and CEO Ken Molitor. He wouldn't comment on the company's current headcount or how much money it has raised to date. "We are optimistic about the future and think that once the market turns, we will be very well positioned," he boilerplates.

  • Despite reports of its death, Jedai Broadband Networks Inc. is alive and well, according to Michael Pritz, the company's president and CEO. Light Reading reported in February that the company was working on closing a $10 million round of funding (see Jedai Close to $10M ). Pritz didn't want to talk about Jedai's funding or its headcount. "I guess I should be flattered that we warrant enough concern for rumors to be floating around," he says.

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

    • TrueSAN Goes Belly-Up

    • His Brilliant Career

    • Ikanos Names New CFO

    • LVL7 Names CEO

    • Tyco Hires VP

    • Cramer Names Canellos VP and GM

    • Broadcom Hires Dickhut

    • Openet Announces VP North America

    • Mintera Hires COO

    That's all from the front lines. If we missed anything, send a tip to [email protected].

    — Phil Harvey and Marguerite Reardon, Senior Editors, Light Reading

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