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Cable Tech

Fujitsu Makes More Cuts

RICHARDSON, Texas -- Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. (FNC) said Friday that it has fired about 600 workers this week in light of stagnant carrier spending on telecom equipment.

Four hundred of those let go were based here at FNC's U.S. headquarters. The cuts began on Monday and were across all job titles, according to John Stewart, FNC's senior director of marketing and corporate communications.

FNC's layoffs aren't surprising in the least. Its parent company, Fujitsu Ltd. (KLS: FUJI.KL), reported earlier this year that sales for its North American Transmission Equipment business would fall some 56 percent in the current fiscal year.

FNC had about 2,300 employees at the beginning of this year, and that total is now down to around 1,700. Last year, FNC cut 500 jobs -- 15 percent of its North American workforce.

The cuts come on the heels of management changes at FNC. The company recently brought on a new group president and chief operating officer, George Chase, who was evidently charged with reviewing the company's books and resizing FNC in line with its parent company's forecasts (see Fujitsu Exec Returns After VC Stint).

But like a 350-pound linebacker bearing down on a panic-stricken quarterback, layoffs aren't any easier to take just because you see them coming from several yards away. "It just hurts," says Stewart.

In related FNC news, the company is trying to keep its chin up for the launch of a new product at NFOEC. The company is preparing to unveil a smaller version of its Flashwave 4100 product, an access box that RBOCs use to deliver data and TDM services to large corporate customers.

The new box, the Flashwave 4010, partly came from FNC's service provider customers' desire to extend the Sonet ring and its associated services all the way to the customer premises, Stewart says.

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.com

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