Optical/IP Networks

CEO: Global Crossing Had a Fine '09

After anticipating “a scary year” in 2009, Global Crossing CEO John Legere is plenty happy with his company’s performance, which exceeded analyst estimates and resulted in a smaller loss than in 2008. (See Global Crossing Meets '09 Guidance.)

Most importantly, Legere said, Global Crossing is growing the IP data services part of its business and expects to continue to do so in 2010.

“I’m as proud as I’ve ever been to make our financial guidance for the year, and to give guidance again for 2010, which some people aren’t doing,” Legere said in an interview Tuesday evening. “We will outgrow the market and the competition.”

Global Crossing increased its positive cashflow by $71 million to $82 million, a significant move for the company, Legere said, and its “Invest and Grow” segment -- the name given to its data services business -- grew 6 percent. Overall revenues were down slightly, and Global Crossing reported a net loss of $37 million for the fourth quarter and $145 million for the year, both figures smaller than previous losses.

While Global Crossing is forging into cloud computing services and expanding its managed services, along with many of its service provider cohorts, Legere believes there is still significant growth remaining in the data transport and services space. (See Global Crossing Upgrading Managed Services.)

“It’s important that we remember that the core story, which is getting boring, is not only fresh and new, but it’s mid-cycle,” Legere said. “There is still a fair amount of customers worldwide that are just starting the IP conversion or are moving to converge their applications onto an IP platform or consolidating IP networks while converging and adapting to a huge explosion of growth in applications that are on those networks. That story has multiple years of legs left to it.”

Global Crossing had moved in early 2009 to prepare for what it expected to be tough times without doing massive layoffs, Legere said, noting that the changes included cutting benefits such as 401K account matches and getting employee approval for unpaid work days, rather than cutting jobs that might damage Global Crossing’s ability to serve its customers.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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