Headcount: Outlawing Offshoring?

Scandal looms at Nortel, Ciena cuts 40, FutureWei shuffles sales force, and Headcount initiates 'Average Joe' contest

March 15, 2004

4 Min Read
Headcount: Outlawing Offshoring?

More fuel for your offshoring worries: The Kansas City Star reports Kansas and Missouri legislators are sponsoring state bills opposing the practice of offshoring, after discovering the Department of Social Services had contracted with a company that moved its call center to India.

Apparently, the lawmakers didn’t like the idea of U.S. tax dollars going toward the end goal of moving jobs outside the U.S.

At the federal level, several pieces of legislation are addressing the practice. One bill even calls for the elimination of federal grants for companies that practice offshoring, according to Legal Times.

Headcount wonders what is the right balance between helping workers by preserving U.S. jobs and hindering companies by forcing them to deal with U.S. product (for which they pay higher prices)?

As always, our discussion boards are open for business. And while you’re venting on the boards (or paying someone in India to vent for you), we can’t pass up this opportunity to update you on the telecom industry’s most interesting hirings and firings of the past few days.

  • Just when you thought things were quiet at Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT), the company announces this morning that it has bounced its top financial officers, following complications related to a financial audit of past results (see Nortel CFO Out and Nortel Replaces CFO). The news hasn’t helped Nortel’s stock price, which has lost nearly 40 percent of its value in the past month. The company’s stock had dropped $1.19 (18.51%) to $5.24 in late afternoon trading on Monday.

  • Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN) says it has cut 40 U.S. employees in the past few days. Interestingly, leading up to the cuts, rumors had been all over the map; one source had the company cutting as many as 300 people. Headcount wonders if more Ciena folk will add the word “former” to their titles soon.

  • There were rumors afoot that Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. subsidiary FutureWei fired its original sales force because they weren’t performing. Recent job postings on Futurewei’s site seem to lend credibility to the chatter.But Richard Lee, Huawei's manager of international advertising and promotions, says FutureWei's sales are "very small"; though he points out that the company hardly got started before its remit changed -- namely, when Huawei formed its joint venture with 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS). FuturWei stopped selling enterprise equipment and laid off several staff as it began to focus solely on the telecom market, Lee says. FutureWei currently has "over 40" on staff.

    Has the 3Com alliance paid off? 3Com may shed more light on that this week when it announces its quarterly results.

  • Some quick hits from today’s SEC filings… Redback Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RBAK) says as of December 31, 2003, it had 483 employees… As of February 20, Tekelec Inc. (Nasdaq: TKLC) had 1,065 workers, but its filings add that it is constantly looking to cull. “We will continue to review all job openings to determine whether job functions or business processes can be assumed… resulting in lower personnel costs,” stateth the filings... Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN) checks in with 1,603 employees as of December 31, 2003… Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA), as of January 2, 2004, employed 3,515 people. Most of them don’t mind Naperville at all (see No Naperville for Kennedy).

  • One concerned Headcount reader writes: “I think it is kind of cool to see who in the executive ranks gets hired and fired or to learn about mass layoffs. But the question I have for you is, do you ever hear of companies hiring the blue collar worker? It gets tiresome to learn about so-and-so being hired for the position of executive of blah-blah-blah.”

    So you want us to feature a Headcount nine-to-fiver? Consider it done. Nominate your most interesting non-executive hiring or firing by sending us a note, and we’ll run our favorite submission in the next column. Make sure they don’t have the letters “V” and “P” in their title, unless it’s something funny, like “Viceroy of Pants.”

    Here are some of the other appointments and disappointments from the past several days:

    • Veritas Loses CTO – Again

    • Monet Closes EV-DO Network

    • ADC Adds to Board

    • LaserBit Hires Sales VP

    • Riverstone Names Regional Manager

    • TippingPoint Hires Sales VP

    • NetLogic Names CFO

    • Sandvine Expands in Europe

    • World Wide Packets Tops Up Tank

    • Hasselbeck Joins Metrobility Board

    • mPhase Hires Sales VP

    • Poland's Netia Shuffles Board

    • TI Vet McGarity Joins Altera Board

    • Nortel Replaces CFO

    • Arris Appoints CFO

    • Schneider Steps Down as Citizen's CEO

    • Poland's Netia Shuffles Board

    That's all we’ve got this week. Until next time, send your Headcount news tips to: [email protected].

    — Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

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