Optical/IP Networks

Headcount: Job Makers, Deal Breakers

The U.S. economic recovery was thrown into doubt last week, thanks to weaker than expected job creation numbers. Analysts had expected 130,000 non-farm jobs to be added in December 2003. The Labor Department reported that 1,000 jobs were created.

One thousand... i.e., one Wal-Mart. Thanks, George.

The experts were only off by about 13,000 percent. Nice one. And, yes, the unemployment number was lower for December, but mainly because more than 300,000 people left the workforce because they retired, won the lottery, found temp work on Michael Jackson's legal team, or just gave the hell up.

And while we're at it: How many companies do massive hiring in December?

Okay, enough rambling. Time for this week's summary of the most recent hirings and firings in the telecom space:

  • Gluon Networks Inc. has finally closed its doors and is looking for someone to buy its intellectual property, according to the Santa Rosa, Calif., Press Democrat. If it seems we've reported Gluon's closure before, let Headcount set you straight. We have reported that the company cut some jobs (see Headcount: Shooting Stars). We have reported that it replaced its CEO shortly after an unfortunate Christmas memo (see Headcount: We're Baaaack! and Headcount: Miller's Oranges). We have reported that it cut jobs (see Headcount: Numbers Games ) and then, after pausing to take a breath, cut more jobs (see Headcount: Viva Lost Wages).

    Now, we're reporting that Gluon is closed. Whew!

    About 60 employees lost their jobs during Gluon's closure. As for the investors, they're probably not dancing in the aisles: Gluon had raised more than $76 million since 1999.

  • Coriolis Networks Inc. confirmed that it cut about 26 out of 80 jobs recently. The company says it was able to make the cuts because it has finished some hardware development and will be doing some increased outsourcing.
  • Luminous Networks Inc. needs a new boss. Its founder, Alex Naqvi, took the role of chairman in December and is now helping the board find someone to replace him as CEO. "The company is as strong as it has been for the last five years," Naqvi tells Headcount.

  • Sources tell Headcount that networking chip maker Crosslayer Networks Inc. is closed. We tried to disprove the rumor by calling the company's main number, but our call was automatically routed to the human resource director's voice mail. Not a good sign, eh? Our call wasn't returned.

  • On January 19, WLAN switching company Aruba Wireless Networks will officially name Don LeBeau as its new CEO. LeBeau was previously the senior VP of worldwide operations at Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). Sound familiar? It should. Our younger, more leggy, sister site, Unstrung, broke the news first, back in November (see Aruba to 'Don' LeBeau?).

  • Ishoni Networks Inc., a chip startup aimed at the VOIP market, has closed, according to a report in the San Jose Mercury News. The company apparently couldn't recover after allegedly having its staff and intellectual property raided by an Indian operation bent on propping up a rival company (see Ishoni Cries Sabotage ). The events leading to Ishoni's demise, first reported in Light Reading, illustrate how outsourcing can sometimes backfire on companies that aren't keeping a close watch on their operations overseas. Ishoni, backed by more than $68 million in funding, was valued as high as $200 million, and employed as many as 170 people, sayeth the Merc.

    And, now, a few more appointments and disappointments from the past few days: That's all for this go-round. Drop us a line if you have a news tip, or, for that matter, a list of ways Headcount can create more jobs. Send your fits and missives to [email protected].

    — Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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