Optical/IP Networks

Headcount: Fair Warning

There are about a million ways for a CEO to telegraph to Wall Street and employees that he's about to cut jobs.

Make that a million and one (see Nortel Provides Status Update ).

Nortel Networks Ltd.'s (NYSE/Toronto: NT) restatement of its 2003 earnings came with this little ray of sunshine from CEO Bill Owens: "It has become clear that we will need to put into place an improved cost structure to drive financial performance."

The Street cheered Nortel for its cost-cutting plans and the fact that it has amassed $3.6 billion in cash and investments. Despite an 11 percent drop on Thursday, Nortel shares still closed up 6 percent for the week. The company's shareholders smell victory, but some employees may not win. Let the hand-wringing begin.

And while the hands are wringing, let's review some of the other hirings and firings of the past few days:

  • Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is still putting the finishing touches on its recent reorganization (see Cisco's Reorg: What It Means). An organizational chart obtained by Light Reading shows that several executives reporting to Mario Mazzola may have their titles changed.

    These executives include Taf Anthias, Suzanne Stout, Jeff Krause, Mark Farino, and Mark Sherwood. Krause was the VP of Cisco's network management technology group. Information on the other executives wasn't readily available, but all have one thing in common: On the org chart, those executives occupy the same line of seniority as Larry Birenbaum, senior VP of Cisco's Ethernet access group, who has taken a leave of absence.

  • Not appearing in the Mazzola chart was Gil Kaufman, the senior director of engineering for Cisco's content networking business unit. BigBand Networks Inc. announced this week that Kaufman joins their 300-plus employees as executive VP of engineering.

  • Australian DSLAM vendor Extel Communications Pty. Ltd. is cutting its U.S. staff because the company wants to work exclusively through distributors.

    "Extel's recent decision to cease direct sales of expandsl in the USA market and explore an alternative partnership supply chain model was taken after considerable analysis and deliberation by the Board of Directors," the company told employees in an email message. "The decision should not in any way be interpreted as dissatisfaction with the exceptional job carried out by you and the Extel Inc team that you established."

    That said, Extel competitors may want to note that Dana Hartgraves, the company's former VP of sales and marketing for North America, and several other employees are now hitting the streets with resumés in hand.

  • Alas, former Navini Networks Inc. executive Bjorn O. Kirchdorfer is not, as we carelessly speculated, joining colleague Jeffrey Havlock and Siemens brass Klaus Kleinfeld and Heinrich von Pierer to form a tough-sounding security firm called Kleinfeld, Kirchdorfer, Havlock, and von Pierer LP.

    It was a long way to go for a punchline, we know. In the bad joke marathon, we're the Kenyans. But the groaner did elicit a response from Kirchdorfer, who writes to say he's formed a telecom consulting business called Domaine Group LLC, which specializes in helping small to mid-sized companies. Yes, rather than get into the security biz, Kirchdorfer has become the master of his own Domaine.

  • In brief: Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) announced on this week's quarterly conference call that CFO Marcel Gani is stepping down at the end of the year to take another job… Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) director Thomas Stephens, the audit committee member who stood watch over the company's aggressive accounting practices, resigned last Friday, according to a report in yesterday's Rocky Mountain News… and, finally, to serve you better, Light Reading has hired Evan Koblentz as Senior Editor of the Next-Gen Data Center Forum and Frank Barbetta as Research Analyst for Light Reading Insider.

    Even more brief, here are more headlines on the week's appointments and disappointments:

    That's all for this week. Keep those news tips coming to: [email protected].

    — Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

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    Stevery 12/5/2012 | 1:26:38 AM
    re: Headcount: Fair Warning You knew it was just a matter of time...
    whyiswhy 12/5/2012 | 1:26:37 AM
    re: Headcount: Fair Warning Actually, its been around for some time: the Brits have been sending lower cost execs over here for about ten years. Actually, any exec that comes in from the outside is more likely than not going to get significantly less than an insider. Not that anyone at that level is under compensated.

    Class warfare comes home to roost: the banker / investors versus the rest of us. All of the rest of us.

    1984 in 2004.

    stawdema 12/5/2012 | 1:26:33 AM
    re: Headcount: Fair Warning The web site is probably a fake. The URL registration shows an address of NH whilst the
    phone number is a MA one. Also the phone number
    appears to be a Red Hat Inc one.
    got_light 12/5/2012 | 1:26:23 AM
    re: Headcount: Fair Warning Ofcourse the website is a fake one. This is what they had to say about outsourcing Government jobs:

    We are currently in negotiation with officials of the major presidential candidates for the offshoring of several high level positions, including secretary of state. After all, who would be more qualified to deal with foreign affairs than an actual foreigner? Mrs. Albright has shown the world that foreign born individuals can take care of foreign affairs just fine; the logical next step is to employ a secretary of state in the region where his/her services will be needed most often. The OffshoreExecutive.com Government Services Office is located in the Middle East, both location and timezone wise the most convenient location to deal with Asia, Europe, Africa, the former Soviet Union and of course the Middle East itself. Negotiations concerning the offshoring of other positions in this growth market are underway.

    - Got light?

    My 2 cents
    opticalwatcher 12/5/2012 | 1:26:18 AM
    re: Headcount: Fair Warning The website is fake, but it's funny.

    Now they are outsourcing McDonalds!
    whyiswhy 12/5/2012 | 1:26:12 AM
    re: Headcount: Fair Warning The is a move afoot to outsource basic democractic principles and citizenship rights:

    S.F.proposes limited non-citizen voting

    San Francisco, CA, Jun. 21 (UPI) -- A plan is being considered that will allow non-citizens, including illegal immigrants, to vote in San Francisco school board elections.

    The San Jose Mercury News said Monday the proposed November ballot measure was aimed at getting more parents involved in their children's education by waiving California's requirement that voters be U.S. citizens.

    San Francisco has long been a home to a large Asian immigrant community as well as growing numbers of Latinos. Only those non-citizens with children in public school would be allowed to vote, and only in school board elections.

    The Mercury said a similar proposal that would have allowed immigrants to vote in all municipal elections was rejected in 1996 by a judge who ruled the move would require an amendment to the state constitution.

    If passed, the measure would be the first in California, although similar laws have been enacted in New York, Chicago and Maryland.

    Now I understand why there is a group of over 3000 citizens protesting the tax law. I mean, here we have a case of not just representation without taxation, but services without taxation.

    Why pay taxes? I mean these people get full services and the right to vote, without paying dime one, at least to the feds.


    moonflye 12/5/2012 | 1:26:01 AM
    re: Headcount: Fair Warning That story is not fake. it ran in the New york times. it's true!
    lightbridge 12/5/2012 | 1:25:55 AM
    re: Headcount: Fair Warning Whyiswhy,

    Non-citizens living in the US pay the same local, state and federal taxes as citizens - in some cases (e.g. estate tax) even more. So, giving them the right to vote would only change the present state of "taxation w/o representation" - and it would support the involvement of people who are interested in their local politics.



    whyiswhy wrote:

    Now I understand why there is a group of over 3000 citizens protesting the tax law. I mean, here we have a case of not just representation without taxation, but services without taxation.

    Why pay taxes? I mean these people get full services and the right to vote, without paying dime one, at least to the feds.

    whyiswhy 12/5/2012 | 1:25:49 AM
    re: Headcount: Fair Warning lightbridge:


    Most (but not all) illegal immigrants have no legal right to work, they have no social security number, no taxpayer ID. They work "off the books". Check out your local HomeDepot parking lot in the morning.

    Yes, they pay sales taxes, and if they manage to buy a house they pay property taxes, and if they drive a car, vehicle registration taxes...but these are only a small fraction of what you and I pay.

    Besides, it begs the question of citizenship and what it means, namely rights on the one hand and obligations on the other.

    A big for-example is military service...they cannot be compelled to serve in time of war. Another is flight from prosecution: without the need for a passport or visa, they can just cross the border and avoid our law...both criminal and civil.

    In these days of international terrorism, illegal immigration represents an open door. This problem has been strangely overlooked by both parties, for different reasons.

    Up to now, illegal immigration has been benefitting the Neo-cons, who could care less about the voting aspect: they only care to over supply the working class to drive wages lower. Stupid Democrats think they get votes from recent immigrants, but in fact they can't vote.

    The answer is to enforce the laws on the books and limit immigration to a sensible number per year, carefully screened and selected.

    deweyduck 12/5/2012 | 1:25:28 AM
    re: Headcount: Fair Warning Having worked in a number of countries, legally, with working and vistors permits, I can see the citizens of those countries laughing at me if I had ever wanted to vote in their elections. I would have probably been put in jail if I tried.

    The idea of non-citizens voting in a countries elections could only happen in the good ol US of A. The very idea is deplorable.

    On the aspect of illegal aliens, I say round them up and ship them out. If you want to work in this country, do it legally. Get a visitors and working permit.

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