Headcount: Plentiful & Hard to Get

Digg this story The Conference Board, Inc.'s latest survey of consumer confidence held some odd, conflicting bits of data about the jobs market. And that's perfect for Headcount, where we love odd conflicts.

The survey of 5,000 U.S. households revealed that consumers saying jobs are "plentiful" increased about as much as those claiming jobs are "hard to get." So the truth is somewhere in between.

More disturbing, though, is that more folks are expecting business conditions to worsen and consumers are expecting fewer jobs to become available in the coming months.

So if you're looking for a good time to tell off your boss, Headcount suggests waiting until around June or July. At least then, if things don't work out, you'll have some sunny weather to console you.

Now on to our countdown of the five most interesting hirings and firings of the past few days, followed by a more comprehensive listing of the latest personnel news in the Light Reading universe:

No. 5: Top Tester Gets Testy
Spirent Communications is cleaning house in some departments as the company continues to shake off the severe slump in its service assurance division and OSS business. (See OSS Lapse Hits Spirent.)

Those hitting the beach, as they say, include Mark Fishburn, chairman of the MEF and Spirent's former VP of technical strategy.

Also shown the door, according to Headcount sources, is Cathi Lane, Spirent's PR director, who is a sort of celebrity among Light Reading staff, partly because of her rather distinct laugh.

No word yet on how much more sweeping up Spirent will do. A little less than a year ago, it cut one-third of its staff to control costs. (See Spirent Cuts Back OSS Group.) Since then, too, it has disposed of some business units and made some acquisitions in order to remake itself into more of a communications-focused testing firm. (See Spirent Buys VOIP Test Firm, Spirent Buys Wireless Test Firm, Spirent Sells Division, and Spirent Extends Alcatel Deal.)

No. 4: Anschutz Goes on Private Quest
Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) has announced that Philip Anschutz, its founder and largest shareholder, won't stand for re-election to the board of directors at the company's upcoming annual meeting. Denver-based billionaire Anschutz is also stepping down from his board seats at the Union Pacific Corporation and Regal Entertainment Group so he can focus more on his privately held companies and investments.

By backing off public boards, Anschutz also guarantees himself a more quiet life outside the scrutiny of shareholders and regulators. With so many looking to overthrow the next Enron, Headcount wonders why any billionaire worth his salt would put up with all the paperwork and hassle of a public company board. I mean, being on the board at Qwest isn't exactly a prestige thing, is it?

Of course, Wall Street will miss Anschutz's, ahem, charity work.

In 2003, Anschutz reached an agreement with New York State attorney general Eliot Spitzer to give up $4.4 million to charities so that Spitzer's office would drop its suit against him. Spitzer sued Anschutz in September 2002, alleging that he and the officers of four other telecom firms improperly received millions of dollars in hot IPO offerings from Citigroup unit Salomon Smith Barney in a practice known as "IPO spinning." Anschutz never admitted nor denied wrongdoing as a condition of the settlement.

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DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:04:10 AM
re: Headcount: Plentiful & Hard to Get Does anyone have an angle on whether there will be any more management changes at Lucent?

Also, do tell if anyone knows what David Huber's next investment/project/job will be.

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