Optical/IP Networks

Headcount: Good News, Bad News

Headcount is convinced that the most brilliant mockery of workaday life is a BBC series called, The Office. As the lead character, office manager David Brent, is cutting jobs, he says: "Well, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that Neil will be taking over both branches, and some of you will lose your jobs... On a more positive note, the good news is, I’ve been promoted, so... every cloud... You’re still thinking about the bad news aren’t you?”

On that note, here are this week's items:

  • Photuris Inc. is set to announce this week that Charles Childers has taken the CEO post. Childers replaces Mike Pisterzi, who was formerly CEO of AccessLAN, which was sold to Advanced Fibre Communications Inc. (AFC) (Nasdaq: AFCI). The company also says it has closed the Series C financing of $40 million that it has been talking up since September (see Photuris Metro Box May Draw $40M). Stay tuned to Light Reading for the full story.

  • Just wondering... What is Steven Akers' new company working on? The former chief technology officer of Lucent's wireline business unit has started a new company called Auraria Corp. Akers gained fame as the founder and chief technology officer of SpringTide, which Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) acquired for $1.3 billion in 2000, cancelling its product late last year (see Lucent Silences SpringTide).

    Anyway, Akers, who is also on the board of Tazz Networks Inc., is an expert in IP switching and all things wireline, but we haven't yet got a line on this new outfit. So, if you hear some good stuff about Auraria, drop us a line.

  • Here's another outfit Headcount is curious about: Hammerhead Systems Inc. They're billing themselves as a next-generation data equipment vendor. Let's take these guys out of stealth mode early, shall we? If you know what they're up to, do tell. And, as an aside, does "next-generation" imply that our children will be the first to see it?

  • AirFiber Inc., one of the first free-space optics vendors to make a splash, shut its doors on Friday. Spokesman Jeff Mordock confirmed the closure; he was packing his office when Headcount called. AirFiber raised about $92 million in funding from big names like Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT), Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM), Enterprise Partners Venture Capital, and General Motors. The 50 employees left at the company were informed of the shutdown on February 19th. The company's current products will be supported by some other entity, Mordock says, but he won't yet give specifics.

  • After reporting a $369 million quarterly loss, Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) announced Friday that it is cutting an additional 4,000 jobs. The company has cut more than 10,000 jobs since it spun off from Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) in June 2000.

  • We've finally nabbed some headcount numbers from ECI Telecom Ltd. (Nasdaq/NM: ECIL), which we profiled last week (see ECI Goes Back to the Future). ECI, overall, has 3,230 total employees. The Lightscape Networks Ltd. optical networks division employs 1,153 folks. The Inovia Telecoms Ltd. broadband access division employs 578 people. There are 232 people working at InnoWave and another 330 at its subsidiary, ECtel Ltd. (Nasdaq: ECTX).

    Here's a summary of other industry appointments, disappointments, and workplace issues from the past several days: The good news: That's all we have this week. If we missed anything, send a tip to [email protected].

    — Phil Harvey and Marguerite Reardon, Senior Editors, Light Reading
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    cyber_techy 12/5/2012 | 12:34:58 AM
    re: Headcount: Good News, Bad News It's the first publication that thrives on the misery of its subcribers.
    Scott Raynovich 12/5/2012 | 12:34:58 AM
    re: Headcount: Good News, Bad News Nah, we're not evil and we don't wish badly. If the industry goes out of business, we go out of business.
    barefoot_shark 12/5/2012 | 12:34:56 AM
    re: Headcount: Good News, Bad News
    So you want the industry to hang on just long
    enough so you can parachute out with a nice retirement?
    piltdownman 12/5/2012 | 12:34:55 AM
    re: Headcount: Good News, Bad News I knew Charles not from the last job he lost at Teleglobe, but from the job he lost before that - at Nortel - and the only thing I can tell the well-intentioned folks at Photuris is to beware of the ego.

    Charles is a great communicator and salesman, and in these respects may be just what Photuris needs right now as it seeks to win some customers.

    But Charles has two major faults:

    1 - Ego. This guy REALLY thinks highly of himself, and when he wants to he can toss around a real arrogant and annoying personality of the "when are you going to promote me?" kind. Maybe having lost two jobs in a row has imposed some well-needed humility.

    2 - Charles is a "do anything for a deal" salesman similar to all the most negative aspects of Steve Schilling (who is amazingly still employed at Nortel). That means winning is more important than the financial viability of the deal, profit margins, financial risk, etc... And beware to anybody that tries to put some responsible business metrics to evaluating the deal.

    That's my input. Have fun Photuris.
    piltdownman 12/5/2012 | 12:34:54 AM
    re: Headcount: Good News, Bad News Hey LR,

    I think its been asked before, but what's the latest on Innovance & Ceyba, the Canadian partners-in-soon-to-be-liquidation?

    We ABSOLUTELY know each of the companies will soon run out of money and are running high burn rates. So....

    1 - have you called them?

    2 - have you gotten a response?

    3 - what are their VC's saying?

    So far all the news is speculation from posters. It would be interesting to see some investigative journalism.
    Larry, Monkey 12/5/2012 | 12:34:54 AM
    re: Headcount: Good News, Bad News It's the first publication that thrives on the misery of its subscribers?

    You obviously never read "Rosie, the Magazine."
    Scott Raynovich 12/5/2012 | 12:34:53 AM
    re: Headcount: Good News, Bad News Nice retirement!? ... gee not sure if you know what journalists do, but I'm just saving up for Friday's beer and next month's mortgage payment.
    who is john galt? 12/5/2012 | 12:34:52 AM
    re: Headcount: Good News, Bad News "Rosie" ceased publication...trying to hint at something?
    Scott Raynovich 12/5/2012 | 12:34:51 AM
    re: Headcount: Good News, Bad News >doesn't a good reporter uncover info to disclose >to his readers, not the other way around?

    If that were the case then reporters would only publish what they know from talking to themselves... which really wouldn't be that interesting.
    silent mariner 12/5/2012 | 12:34:51 AM
    re: Headcount: Good News, Bad News doesn't a good reporter uncover info to disclose to his readers, not the other way around?
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