JDS Uniphase Corp. (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU) is no longer part of the telecom jet set. In addition to laying off workers and selling real estate to cut costs last quarter, the components company also got rid of its corporate jet, according to published reports.
Speaking of JDSU's costs, the company's new CEO, Kevin Kennedy (see JDSU Launches Regime Change), is pulling down a nice check -- though it's not Kevin Kalkoven-style money (see 2001 Top Ten: Fat Cats). Kennedy's annual salary is $500,000, which bumps to $575,000 next year. He's also in line for a hiring bonus of $500,000 and another cash bonus of $250,000 to be used for company stock purchases.
Well, we're not making any kind of Kevin money, but that won't stop us from bringing you the most interesting telecom employment news from the past several days.
Rumors that Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) was cutting staff, as printed in the Canadian press last week, just weren't true. Or were they? Frankly, we're stumped. Nortel said during its third-quarter earnings conference call (see Nortel Keeps to Profit Path) that its headcount was "tracking below 36,000." Its most recent quarterly call put the headcount at "approximately 35,500."
In addition to cutting staff, Nortel has trimmed its facilities as well. In the past three years, the company says it has closed or sold about 450 of its facilities -- a reduction of about 20 million square feet.
Westwave Communications has sold its softswitch software to Alcatel and shut its doors, according to a report in the Santa Rosa, Calif., Press Democrat. At its peak, Westwave employed 120 folks and had raised nearly $65 million from Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) and several venture investors.
Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) says it will cut hours and wages for 100,000 German employees, about 40 percent of its work force, as a way to schneiden its debt. The affected employees, mainly at the T-Com fixed-line unit, will be asked to work at least 10 percent fewer hours, effectively taking a pay cut of the same amount, according to The Associated Press.
Optical Solutions Inc. CEO Darryl Ponder says his company cut 19 jobs last week, mostly in engineering, leaving the company with 78 full-time workers. He says the PON company continues to do well, with more than 54 customer deployments so far, but it still needs to conserve cash where possible. The company recently announced a $15 million funding round, in which Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) became an investor. Ponder acknowledges that Optical Solutions and Cisco responded together to the RBOC FTTP RFP! this summer.
Redback Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RBAK) is still cutting costs as it prepares to face shareholders and ask for their support in keeping it out of bankruptcy court, a source close to the company says. Redback is said to have cut 20 employees this week and will likely make deeper cuts if the company is forced to file for a Chapter 11 reorganization. Redback declined to comment on the cuts, but said the real story was not its staff size, but its exceptional third quarter (see Redback Reports on 3Q03). The company reported a loss of $18.1 million, or 10 cents a share, on revenues of $27.4 million. That may not seem awfully boastworthy, but the revenue number represented a 58 percent jump over Redback's year-ago quarter.
Here's what else has happened across the telecom employment world in the past several days:
That's all for now. Until next time, keep those tray tables locked and your seat belts fastened. And, if you have a Headcount tip, send it to [email protected] along with one of those Dewar's minis so we can "flavor" our coffee.