Headcount: Viva Lost Wages

Corning closes plants, Alcatel chops US jobs, and Gluon CFO says, 'See ya!'

December 4, 2003

3 Min Read
Headcount: Viva Lost Wages

Is it time to move Headcount headquarters to Las Vegas? A fresh ream of labor info suggests that employment in areas associated with telecom jobs is in decline, whereas Sin City seems unscathed by the recession.

The U.S. metropolitan areas with the largest employment declines this year include Chicago (-49,000), San Jose (-37,700), Boston (-37,600), and New York (-21,800), according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Conversely, the areas with large employment increases this year include Atlanta (+65,400), Phoenix (+24,500), and, yes, Las Vegas (+28,700).

Ah, well. While we pack our boxes and start reading up on blackjack strategy, take a gander at a few recent hirings and firings in the telecom biz:

  • Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) is cutting about 400 jobs in North America (see Alcatel Prunes Jobs). The cuts follow yesterday's loss of 470 jobs in France and the redeployment of a further 900 staff on the vendor's home turf (see Alcatel Cuts Workforce).

  • Chief financial officer Rich Yonker has left Gluon Networks Inc. to join Bermai Inc., a wireless chip company, as its CFO. Gluon officials couldn't be reached for comment, but a current Gluon employee says there are about 65 people left there -- 10 fewer than there were the last time we checked. That employee dismisses rumors that some were furloughed in November. "We just had a week off, that's all," the Gluonite says.

  • The chips are down at some chip companies, too. Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (AMCC) (Nasdaq: AMCC) laid off 90 last month, including parts of the network processor division. At the other end of the alphabet, ZettaCom Inc. chopped its marketing division and some product development (see AMCC, ZettaCom Cut Staff).

  • Wall Street is expecting Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) to cut jobs soon, as the company makes its budget for next year, according to a report in the Denver Post. Qwest spokesman Tyler Gronbach told the paper he wouldn't talk about the rumor. "We don't manage the business by head count," he gronbached. "We manage it by workload."

  • The cost-cutting buzzsaw ripped through Kansas, like so many tornados and twisters. Sprint Corp. (NYSE: FON) is cutting 2,000 workers by the year's end in its wireline and wireless divisions. The company also had a member of its board resign after just six months. And did anyone go to Sprint's annual Thanksgiving Day charity run? If so, our picture bounty still stands (see Headcount: Offshoring, Dude!).

  • Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) is closing plants in Charleston, S.C., and North Brookfield, Mass., and consolidating those operations into two New York facilities. The move will affect about 135 employees. About two dozen employees will be reassigned to other Corning facilities, and about 70 new jobs will be created in Corning's Tropel, N.Y., plant.

  • Lucent chairman and CEO Patricia Russo grabbed a $3,245,333 bonus in addition to her annual salary of $1.2 million in the vendor's financial year ended September 30. Other highlights from the fiscal year included Lucent posting a net loss of $770 million and chopping another 7,500 jobs (see It's Christmas Time at Lucent). Ah, yes. Things are finally looking up at Lucent...

    Here are some other employment-related postings that caught our eye:

    • Betsy Does a Bunk From AT&T

    • Inclarity Adds to VOIP Team

    • Telewest Takes Restructuring Step

    • BellSouth Shuffles Executives

    • Arris Appoints Sales SVP

    • SIP Forum Picks New Chairman

    • Avanex to Pull Out of Livingston

    • End of the Road for Kymata?

    • Ex-McData EVP to Head XIOtech

    • McData Sales Boss McExits

    • ElectroniCast Hires FSO Guru

    On second thought, maybe we won't move to Vegas. Good times will return to America's telecom-dependent cities soon enough. In case they don't, share your blackjack secrets below so we can improve our gambling acumen and avoid having to park cars at the Sahara.

    Meanwhile, send your news of telecom hirings and firings to [email protected].

    — Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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