Headcount: Numbers Games

Nortel trims optical jobs, Gluon moves on, Trapeze VP swings away, and it's musical chairs at ADC

November 11, 2003

3 Min Read
Headcount: Numbers Games

Telecom companies continue to make positive chatter on their earnings calls about spending levels coming back, etc. But recovery, in any sense, won't necessarily mean that companies will do much hiring in the near future.

Overall employment figures suggest that things are stagnant, if nothing else. The number of folks who lost their jobs or finished temporary assignments was about 4,936,000 last month, the lowest it had been since last October, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Motto: "We got government jo-obs! Nyah-nyah-nya-nyah-nyah!") The unemployment rate, 6.0 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, 8.8 million, were also more or less unchanged.

Stagnant though things are, no one's sitting still. Witness this week's summary of recent hirings and firings in the telecom space:

  • The bad news: more job cuts at Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT). Last week the company told its employees it would cut about 200 optical networking jobs in Ottawa, 30 jobs in Montreal, and 45 jobs in Monkstown, Ireland. The company was able to save about 60 jobs, by transferring folks to its wireless businesses, a spokesperson for Nortel says: "These decisions are never easy, and we will be providing those affected employees with notice and severance."

    The good news is that the Lingonberries -- a Swedish folk group in Ottawa formed by laid off Nortelians -- will now have an ample talent pool from which to recruit future baritones.

  • Is Gluon Networks Inc. heading for the glue factory? The equipment startup has cut 40 people, leaving it with 75 employees, according to a report in the Press Democrat of Santa Rosa, Calif. The cuts make Gluon exactly half the size as it was in 2001, when it boasted three locations with more than 80,000 square feet of space and more than 150 employees. The last announced funding round for Gluon came in May 2002, when it added more than $11 million to a previous round, giving it more than $76 million raised since 1999.

  • Hanaro Telecom Inc., Korea's second-largest broadband carrier, is trimming the number of its high-ranking executives to 27 from 49, according to The Korean Herald. (Note: The Korean Herald is not affiliated with Headcount's affable next-door neighbor, Harold the Korean.)

  • Are the lights still on at Emperative Inc.? We have from a reliable source an unconfirmed report that the company is shutting its doors at the end of this week. Headcount's calls to Emperative weren't returned, even though we told them it was emperative that they phone us.

  • Last week ADC Telecommunications Inc. (Nasdaq: ADCT) installed its third OSS chief in just six months (see ADC Loses Another OSS Boss). Jo Anne Anderson, also head of ADC's systems integration business, has hopped on the executive merry-go-round after her predecessors, Larry Barker and Dilip Singh, were sent flying in the direction of the swing sets.

  • Wireless LAN switch startup Trapeze Networks Inc. is looking to replace its VP of sales, Michael Ferguson, who left in late October (see Trapeze Sales VP Sails Off). Trapeze recently cut around 30 percent of its workforce, leaving it with somewhere north of 60 people (see Trapeze's Wireless Wobbles).

  • The 20 or so people left at Tahoe Networks will be folded gently into Nokia Corp.'s (NYSE: NOK) facilities in Mountain View, Calif. (see Nokia Sweeps Up Tahoe). But, given Nokia's history with previous acquisitions such as Ipsilon Networks and Amber Networks, maybe "folded gently" should read "crushed into powder."

    And, now, a few more appointments and disappointments from the past few days:

    • Azanda Appoints VP of Marketing

    • SnowShore CTO Joins Fora

    • Intense Names Chief Operating Officer

    • ADC Expands Exec's Role

    • FONS Appoints Arsenault

    • Glowpoint Adds Director

    • Teradiant Appoints Sales VP

    • fSONA Boosts Board

    • Lee Retires at Verizon

    • Extreme Appoints New CFO

    • Riverstone Appoints Ressner to Board

    • Va Tech Builds Big Mac

    • Birck to Resign as Tellabs Chief

    That's all for this go-round. Drop us a line if you have a news tip, or, for that matter, a list of better band names for ex-Nortelers than "The Lingonberries." Send all correspondence to [email protected].

    — Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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

You May Also Like