Force10 Relocates Jobs to India
Force10 Networks Inc. has joined the legions of technology companies that have opened facilities in India, and the company is moving U.S. engineering jobs there as well.
Force10 says it's not laying off workers, contrary to rumors. “We informed a group of engineers that their function would now reside in India, and we gave them the option to relocate there,” says VP of marketing Andrew Feldman.
Feldman explains that some quality assurance and software development operations are being moved from Force10 headquarters in Milpitas, Calif., to the new facility in Chennai. “We are moving jobs to India,” Feldman said. “But we are hiring -- both in India and at our headquarters. The company will be bigger next month than it is now.”
So how many folks are -- how you say? -- relocating? Feldman declined to quantify the number of engineers given the choice to move; he says it's a “modest number.” The number of engineers who have accepted the offer was also not available.
Force10's statement, released October 20, says the new Indian facility will develop future upgrades to Force10’s new TeraScale E-Series switch/routers, as well as future products and features (see Force10 Goes Terabit).
Reports of layoffs at Force10, which employs about 275 people, began showing up in chat rooms and bulletin boards (including Light Reading’s) in the week following the announcement of the new facility.
“I peruse the chat rooms, and I see there are people talking that just don’t understand what we are doing, although some do,” Feldman says.
The Chennai facility will initially house “north of 50” employees, most of them engineers, according to Feldman. That number is likely to double in the next six months.
Feldman points out that despite the job transfers, the Chennai facility will house fewer engineers than the company’s Milpitas headquarters, even when fully staffed.
“This is in line with best practices right now. Look around, and just about every company you see is establishing operations in India, including Cisco and Foundry.”
Force10 was founded in 1999, and in 2002 became the first to sell Ethernet switches that forward data packets at 10 Gbit/s. The company has enjoyed steady growth and sales success and is well funded, with nearly $290 million raised to date.
— Mark Sullivan, special to Light Reading