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Ethernet equipment

Hatteras Chops Headcount

In anticipation of what it believes could be a brutal economic downturn, carrier Ethernet specialist Hatteras Networks Inc. has laid off roughly one-quarter of its staff, despite enjoying a record year.

About 20 employees were laid off, leaving Hatteras with roughly 60, CEO Kevin Sheehan says. Cuts were made in all areas of the company; Sheehan denies rumors that sales and sales engineering were particular targets.

"Every department was affected by the cut, and we didn't hit any area harder than another," he said.

Sheehan confirms that two vice presidents are gone from the company but won't give their names. Speculation is that VP of marketing Gary Bolton and VP of software Andre Fredette are the two in question; a source contends that VP of sales Christopher Cook also left the company a few weeks ago. Light Reading wasn't able to reach any of the three for confirmation.

Sheehan insists that business is doing just fine, with this year's sales doubling last year's figures. In that regard, Hatteras's preemptive move reflects the logic Orckit Communications Ltd. (Nasdaq: ORCT) preached in cutting one-third of its employees this week. (See Orckit Hunkers Down, Axes 90 Jobs.)

"Although we're having our best year in history and record growth and a record quarter, we believe the financial crises going on around the world are real and will last, so we wanted to be proactive and tighten our belts," Sheehan said. "We can't say, in a fiscally responsible way, that we'll be insulated."

Hatteras looked at expense-cutting possibilities everywhere in its business, trimming operating expenses in at least 30 areas.

Sheehan admits Hatteras isn't yet profitable but adds that the company isn't in need of more funding. Hatteras's last announced funding was a $21 million round in 2006. (See Hatteras Closes $21M Round.)

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

rahat.hussain 12/5/2012 | 3:27:00 PM
re: Hatteras Chops Headcount "a source contends that VP of sales Christopher Cook also left the company a few weeks ago. Light Reading wasn't able to reach any of the three for confirmation"

.. how about you check the company website, and you will see that Chris Cook is not on the executive team?

odo <-- who remains amazed at the diligence of LR reporters.
falsecut 12/5/2012 | 3:26:59 PM
re: Hatteras Chops Headcount So you know for a fact that Mr. Cook was on the web site before? You know for a fact that he came off the web site within the last few weeks? You know for a fact that every executive is on the site? If you don't, how does absence of him on the web site prove that he has left?
bengolly 12/5/2012 | 3:26:57 PM
re: Hatteras Chops Headcount One check of the Internet Archive Wayback Machine shows that Mr. Cook was listed as the SVP of Worldwide Sales on the Hatteras web site as of this past February.

http://web.archive.org/web/200...
rahat.hussain 12/5/2012 | 3:26:48 PM
re: Hatteras Chops Headcount @bengolly - You beat me to it, thanks.

@falsecut - why the "anger"?

If a Sr VP of Sales is not on the website, I think most people will agree he is not with the company.

You are right that just because a VP is still on the website doesn't confirm his/her presence with the company.

But again, you could have added some information to your post rather than just fling arrows.

[Also, Craig's a cool dude and can take some heat on his own - right Craig? :-)]

odo
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 3:26:46 PM
re: Hatteras Chops Headcount
I think that the whole point is being missed.

If you read the original post and the part quoted, it was talking about confirmation. Would you really want a website being confirmation of information? LR is a tongue-in-cheek organization regularly, but I would greatly prefer a better set of confirmation than the existence (or lack thereof) of a bio on a website.

If you go back and read the quote, people were called to confirm information given by a company representative. I find it at least a bit comforting that what a single person says is not taken as gospel and participants in the event are required to confirm a story.

seven
falsecut 12/5/2012 | 3:26:46 PM
re: Hatteras Chops Headcount The statement "odo <-- who remains amazed at the diligence of LR reporters." seems to imply that the LR author should have just taken the fact that Cook wasn't listed on the site as "obvious" proof that he wasn't employed there, and that the LR author wasn't being very diligent in his fact checking to have missed looking it up. If that wasn't what you meant, sorry about that. Journalists can't base reports on web site postings that don't exist is all I'm saying.
Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:26:43 PM
re: Hatteras Chops Headcount >>
[Also, Craig's a cool dude and can take some heat on his own - right Craig? :-)]
<<

right! :-)

I'll admit I could have mentioned Cook's absence from the web site, but the priority in these cases is to find ways to directly contact the people involved. So, that's where my efforts went.
rahat.hussain 12/5/2012 | 3:26:41 PM
re: Hatteras Chops Headcount Craig - Thanks for the response!

Brookseven - you made more sense in your post than I did! :-)

odo

p.s.: On a more serious note, life is quite tough for these optical/ethernet guys, and having been there in the past, I just hate to find out more such bad news on a weekly basis.
jmunn 12/5/2012 | 3:26:32 PM
re: Hatteras Chops Headcount I would think that competitors could use this annoucement against Hatteras to gain some of whatever market share Hatteras has. Frequently customer support takes a big hit when you chop 25% of the company even if they keep the support guys the company has lost a lot of knowledge base.

Is this good news for some other companies?
If so, who? If not, who cares?

jmunn
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