Hope you're having a good work week – because it may be your last for a while! The weeks after Labor Day have historically been the worst for layoffs, according to a CNN report, citing the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
"You are 25 percent more likely to lose a job after Labor Day [Sept. 1] than in the preceding eight months," Challenger tells CNN. "The reasons: Employers are finalizing budgets and business plans for 2004, and payroll levels are heavily impacted by both."
Even with that spectre looming over us, Headcount wishes you and yours a happy Labor Day, and all that implies. Now, before you pack up your desk, let's swim through the most interesting hirings, firings, and other telecom employment news of the past couple of weeks:
Balls and strikes: As the Communications Workers of America (CWA) begins its annual conference in Chicago this week, the union's negotiations with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) continue. Both sides say they've made significant progress over the past week, but they haven't reached an agreement yet. Today marks the beginning of the fourth week that thousands of Verizon workers represented by the labor unions have returned to work without a contract. Meanwhile, the CWA is still readying its members and others to switch their services from Verizon to AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) should things get hairy.
Cindana banana: What the heck is up with Cindana Turkatte these days? We asked, but she's not saying, so perhaps Headcount's legions of well-informed and extremely good-looking readers (suckups? us?) can offer a clue. We do know that Turkatte is no longer president and CEO of Xindium Technologies Inc.; she left in April. Before she left Xindium, she helped them nab more funding, as the company began shifting its focus from building long-haul networking components to building chips for wireless applications.
We also know that Turkatte's background includes stints as VP of marketing at Iolon Inc. and VP of marketing and business development at SpectraSwitch Inc.. We also hear that she's out seeking funding for a new startup, and that she has represented herself as the president and CEO of Cindana Inc. Her Website, however, has no further information – just the promise that something is coming in August 2003. Well, Cindana, you've got less than a week left in August. Time to put up or... change your Website.
On the road, again: Former Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) and Arris International marketing vet Mike Horton has been at Ceterus Networks barely three weeks, and they're already sending him out on the road. Horton, now senior director of marketing, is taking meetings all around this week as Ceterus readies a big product announcement that's meant to coincide with the NFOEC show next month. The company's Website says it is creating a transport system that helps service providers deliver metro Ethernet services over their existing copper or fiber infrastructure. More to follow...
Material issue: This week's doublespeak award goes to Gary Smith, CEO of Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN), who, during the company's August 21 conference call, found he still couldn't come right out and admit that his company continues to lay off workers, even though Ciena had confirmed additional layoffs in a Light Reading story on August 14 (see Ciena Tightening Its Belt). When asked about layoffs on the call, Smith said: "In terms of headcount, we have not made any changes, significant changes, since the -- or material changes since the end of the quarter."
Here's a summary of other industry appointments (and disappointments) from the past several days: