Optical/IP Networks

Headcount: Great Googly Moogly!

You can learn a lot by reading the want ads.

This week Headcount learns that Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) wants to do more than just search the Internet, organize the Internet, and answer love letters from CBS News. The company has dropped a hint that it wants to become a global telecom powerhouse.

The ad in question, found in the Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) jobs database, of all places, says Google is looking for a Strategic Negotiator for Global Infrastructure. The duties such an individual would take on include: "Identification, selection, and negotiation of dark fiber contracts both in metropolitan areas and over long distances as part of development of a global backbone network; contracts and negotiation for managed metropolitan services and long haul wavelength services to fulfill capacity and redundancy requirements in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Europe."

Granted, when you operate an Internet company with Google's size, reach, and product portfolio, it's a no-brainer that lots and lots of bandwidth is required. But Google could just as easily -- and probably will -- head into the world of offering VOIP services, Internet access, cellular services, and dozens of other services that help more people access its Internet properties.

Before Headcount spends the afternoon Googling everyone in his high school year book, we will provide another dose of recent hirings and firings:

  • Seein' Ya: Bob O'Neil, general manager of Ciena Corp.'s (Nasdaq: CIEN) Data Networking Group has left the company to become CEO of a Maynard, Mass. startup that has the unfortunate name of Covergence. O'Neil was formerly the VP of worldwide sales at WaveSmith Networks, which was bought by Ciena in 2003. Mike Regan, VP of engineering for Ciena's data networking group will serve as interim general manager for the group, a Ciena spokeswoman says. The data networking group hauled in 11.4 percent of Ciena's revenues in the fourth quarter of 2004.

  • Sign O' The Times: Light Reading is in the process of developing a Signs of Life Index as a way to measure the burgeoning market of companies that are pretty much dead, but haven't actually closed down yet. You know, companies like CoSine Communications Inc. and the not-so-daily-anymore news site, Broadband Edge.

    We'll check to see if these companies have a pulse by asking all kinds of questions about companies -- Do they answer the phone? Does their Web site have more than one page? Was their last press release in 2000? Are their investors dodging phone calls?

    Once we get a feeling that a company is nearly gone, we'll add it to our listing and monitor its progress. The preliminary list of companies in the Signs of Life Index is still being developed. Want to suggest a company we should add or some criteria we ought to use when selecting companies? Send your suggestions to [email protected].

  • Fiber Fans Unite: Bob Ingalls, the president of Verizon Communications Inc.'s (NYSE: VZ) retail markets group -- the guy responsible for the sales and marketing effort behind the company's entry into the broadband and video businesses -- has joined the board of American Fiber Systems Inc. (AFS). AFS has deployed over 76,000 miles of high-capacity, high-bandwidth metropolitan fiber optic cable since 2000. The company sells all manner of optical fiber and Ethernet connections to carriers, cable providers, and enterprises.

  • Pay Day: Broadwing Communications LLC's board of directors has given its chairman and CEO David Huber a $100,000 bump in pay to $392,500 for 2005, according to a filing the company made with the SEC on Wednesday. Broadwing also will pay out a few cash bonuses, as revealed in the filing. These include:
    Table 1: Broadwing Bonuses
    Name, Title Cash Bonus
    David R. Huber, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer $17,500
    James M. Bannantine, President $15,750
    Lynn D. Anderson, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer $15,000
    Kim D. Larsen, Senior Vice President and General Counsel $14,097

  • Circle of Huber: Two former executives close to Broadwing's CEO David Huber surfaced at other jobs recently. In December, Neustar announced that John Spirtos had joined as the company's senior VP of corporate development. Spirtos is the former Corvis executive who also held posts at two venture funds that Huber ran -- OCG Ventures and HRLD Ventures (see Huber's OCG on Ice ). But he was also instrumental in saving Corvis from stagnation. Spirtos' latest bio says "he developed the business and operational plan for the communications equipment manufacturer to transition to an integrated service provider."

    Also in December, iStar Financial Inc., a commercial real estate finance company, announced that Andrew G. Backman has joined as the company's VP of investor relations and marketing. Backman was the former director of investor and public relations at Broadwing and Corvis. We knew him as "Andy" and he'll be missed.

  • Here are some other appointments and disappointments that have come about since the last Headcount column:

    Please keep those news tips coming to [email protected].

    — Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

    COMMENTS Add Comment
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    BlueWater66 12/5/2012 | 3:30:51 AM
    re: Headcount: Great Googly Moogly! Didn't Stratos dump their longtime founder, CEO and King .... Jim McGinley? I think they also announced a new CEO who came out of Sprint. Sounds like the new guy has a very strong background in Telecom.

    I'm sure McGinley will take his massive family fortune (from Methode and the Stratos IPO) and find a nice place to land.
    oni_guy 12/5/2012 | 3:30:50 AM
    re: Headcount: Great Googly Moogly!
    Hey lightreading,
    You haven't heard the 10% layoff last year?
    s-band 12/5/2012 | 3:30:49 AM
    re: Headcount: Great Googly Moogly! I have heard Infinera is not doing great either. They were expecting some big order in Q3 last year from OnFiber, but nothing happened.
    Upside_again 12/5/2012 | 3:30:47 AM
    re: Headcount: Great Googly Moogly! Your artilce - Will CoSine Get Carved Up? 11.04.04

    Quarry Technologies, The Burlington, Mass.-based company has already looked into the possibility of this (buying cosine), according to a Quarry spokesman, although a deal is unlikely. GÇ£We explored various options but our understanding is that they are going to be sold in a non-strategic financial transaction.

    LR wrote - GÇ¥This implies that CoSine could eventually end up in the hands of asset-strippers, although no announcement on the companyGÇÖs long-term status has been made. In a statement released last week to accompany its third-quarter finanicals, CoSine said it is still exploring "strategic alternatives." These include a sale of the company or its assets or even a winding-down of the business and liquidation.
    Off_the_shelf 12/5/2012 | 3:30:39 AM
    re: Headcount: Great Googly Moogly! The Azanda website hasn't worked for a month. Anyone know if they are still in business?
    rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 3:30:38 AM
    re: Headcount: Great Googly Moogly! Uhmm, it seems like a stretch to extrapolate from a dark fiber help wanted ad statements like

    But Google could just as easily -- and probably will -- head into the world of offering VOIP services, Internet access, cellular services, and dozens of other services that help more people access its Internet properties.

    More likely they're just trying to reduce their bw costs using a do-it-yourself approach. I believe there are labs and universities rolling their own networks in a similar manner. It doesn't mean they'll become a "global telecom powerhouse."

    I wonder if there is a way for folks who have made billions of dollars on Wall St. IPOs to contribute towards solving the last mile problem. Doing that may help create "telecom power houses." ;-)
    DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 3:30:33 AM
    re: Headcount: Great Googly Moogly! I understand the dark fiber stuff.

    My point is that once they build this advertised "global backbone network" they'll be able to do an awful lot in the way of providing comm services. And with a $50B market cap, I doubt they'll stop at providing email and online greeting cards.

    rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 3:30:32 AM
    re: Headcount: Great Googly Moogly! My point is that once they build this advertised "global backbone network" they'll be able to do an awful lot in the way of providing comm services.

    If memory serves me correctly, the @home bondholders thought the backbone network they controlled was worth something like $3B. AT&T who owned the cable access links didn't think so. During @home's bankruptcy, AT&T was able to roll their own backbone at a fraction of the cost and the @home bondholders got squat. My point is, these backbones aren't so much of a competitive barrier particularly when somebody else controls the access networks. (Also note: google and @home used many of the same investors and hence one would think they've learned their lessons from previous experiences.)

    And with a $50B market cap, I doubt they'll stop at providing email and online greeting cards.

    Wall St. market caps don't necessarily translate into future business successes and using that to predict doesn't seem wise to me.

    Disclaimer: I don't have any interest in GOOG shares one way or the other.
    iso 12/5/2012 | 3:30:30 AM
    re: Headcount: Great Googly Moogly! It works for me (their website) and I know of at least one major design win they have. They're more likely to be bought than to shutter the doors...
    paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 3:04:18 AM
    re: Headcount: Great Googly Moogly!
    Those focus that have Billions of Dollars have solved the last mile telecom problem. They run DS3s to their houses (or as I understand in Gates case an OC-3).

    Oh wait...you meant for everybody else?

    How about they solve poverty first?

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