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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    Machavelli 12/5/2012 | 2:41:19 AM
    re: Headcount: Job Makers, Deal Breakers Realistically, the meltdown would have occurred regardless of who was in power.

    The exact same circumstances were present in the mid-1920's, early 1970's and mid-1980's. History as far as the stock market is concerned always repeats itself: Huge bull run followed by a devasting crash.

    In 1999, when Telecom stock growth was in the triple digits, this was the classic indicator that a crash was around the corner. Traditionally stocks growth is 12% averaged over a long period of time. When you start seeing 100%, 200% etc growth all over the place, it is always time to sell.

    atmguy 12/5/2012 | 2:41:19 AM
    re: Headcount: Job Makers, Deal Breakers
    >>Why do you blame President Bush for this?

    Bush has the sole distinction of being in power when over 3 million jobs were lost. Even his much touted tax cuts for the wealthy have resulted in < 150,000 jobs so far. Presidents get the credit when things are rosy, and they get to be blamed when things go south. That is the way it works.

    My 2c.
    captain kennedy 12/5/2012 | 2:41:18 AM
    re: Headcount: Job Makers, Deal Breakers Agreed!
    PO 12/5/2012 | 2:41:15 AM
    re: Headcount: Job Makers, Deal Breakers "Realistically, the meltdown would have occurred regardless of who was in power."

    This, like most of the social sciences, is impossible to either prove or disprove as only one history is possible.

    An alternate approach would have been for leaders to burst the bubble before it expanded to the extent it did, minimizing the damage it has since caused. But that was never politically expedient. Even business leaders have been quoted as feeling their stock was being overvalued, but that they would be fired immediately if they said so publicly.

    What amazes me is that the Demoncrats (sorry, Democrats) still want to take credit for supporting the unsustainable bubble. Even more, many of them say that they created the bubble. And some are running an election campaign on the theory that they could have maintained the bubble.

    It certainly is true that once the bubble was created it had to burst, regardless of who was President.
    captain kennedy 12/5/2012 | 2:41:13 AM
    re: Headcount: Job Makers, Deal Breakers "More than 3 million jobs have disappeared from the private sector since the Bush2 administration took office, including at least a half million in telecom. Blame whomever you will, but we haven't seen those kinds of numbers since the Great Depression.

    Copy Chief"

    I am not blaming anyone. I don't credit the President's tax relief policies for the recent up-tick in all other economic indicators either. My position is, and always has been that the economy is what it is in spite of any presidential policies. However, the author of this article does seemingly blame President Bush, and I simply asked why.
    lastmile 12/5/2012 | 2:41:11 AM
    re: Headcount: Job Makers, Deal Breakers Information Technology is all about communication and nothing else.
    Millions of jobs have been lost in this sector and Clinton and Bush are in no way responsible.
    The consumer decides the future.
    A good example is the cell phone. 15 years ago there was no cell phone in the US. Pay phones were in abundance. Now cell phones are in abundance and it is time for the geeks to find a better replacement. This is just one example and many similar replacements are needed to revive this industry. No President can help.
    romeo-foxtrot 12/5/2012 | 2:41:09 AM
    re: Headcount: Job Makers, Deal Breakers I agree with the posters saying Bush was not responsible for the meltdown. The economic and commercial factor that led to it were in play before he was appointed President by the Supreme Court.

    However Bush IS responsible for helping America's economy to recover. What he is not doing in that respect is allocating precious US tax dollars, and debt, into the areas most likely to stimulate economic recovery and job growth.

    Allocating >50% of his tax package to the wealthiest 2% of Americans will do nothing to create jobs. Spending >$150 billion to wage an unnecessary pre-emptive war against a contained enemy that posed no immediate threat to the country (not withstanding what are emerging to be sustained and coordinated lies on WMD and Al Quaida links) will not result in job growth (except for Halliburton and Bechtel).

    Even an ardent Republican must admit that under Clinton, the US Treasury and fiscal was well managed, with siginificant reductions in government deficits and even national debt.

    One must admit that Bush's policy to drop the dollar will stimulate US exports and domestic production, especially given the massive trade defeicit the US has. However the majority of his budgetary and fiscal policy is ideologically driven, and far away from what this country needs to get its workers back to work!
    Machavelli 12/5/2012 | 2:41:00 AM
    re: Headcount: Job Makers, Deal Breakers Romeo,

    I would agree with you and give credit to Clinton for the strong economy of the 1990's. My hard-core republican friends would probably argue that Reagan and Bush Sr. set the stage for the 1990's economy with their groundwork.

    However, I disagree with you on Bush Jr.'s misplaced priorities. It was Clinton's lack of action in the 1990's to terrorist acts on Americans and western countries that set the stage for Sept 11, 2001. He was too busy entertaining young ladies in the White House, I guess. Clinton did absolutely nothing in response to the following events.

    - 1993 bombing of the WTC
    - Two US Embassy bombings in Africa
    - Attack on the USS Cole
    - Attack on US compound in Saudi Arabia
    - etc.

    This list goes on and on, but I am sure you get the point.

    Many argue that Bush's venture into Iraq and Afganistan was wrong, but I would bet it prevented several "Sept 11th" type bombings by taking away resources, training grounds, funding from the terrorists.

    The fact that Libya has agreed to full arms inspections and that North Korea and Iran are starting to talk about inspections proves that the Iraq invasion had merit by demonstrating a "Zero Tolerance" to sponsors of terrorism.

    I am not 100% in agreement with Bush's policies. I think he and his father were (are) a bit too cozy with the Saudis (who provided 15 of the 19 Sept 11th terrorists). The Saudis play an intersting game of saying both "We are great friends of America" and "America is the great Satan, enemy of Islam"

    In summary, I am more critical of Clinton for have done nothing with terrorists than with Bush trying to correct the wrongs in the world.

    DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 2:40:56 AM
    re: Headcount: Job Makers, Deal Breakers Vic,

    I got the math right and rounded up. You were just wrong. I mean, not even close. Not even in the ballpark.

    Not even in the vicinity. Like, here's the answer here. And here's your answer waaaaay over here. (I'm gesturing for emphasis, in case it's not coming through in my prose).

    Vic, you're really, really, really wrong.

    Did I mention that you were wrong?


    DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 2:40:56 AM
    re: Headcount: Job Makers, Deal Breakers re: "Why do you blame President Bush for this? Specifically relating to the telecom downturn and loss of jobs, the inflated internet expectations, and irrational exuberence which followed, all this happened on former President Clinton's watch."

    Actually, this is all Millard Filmore's fault...
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