Headcount: Long Holidays

Many are preparing for a shorter than usual work week, thanks to the Thanksgiving holidays. Some, however, started their holiday season days ago, thanks to the sorry economy.

Those relieved of their duties now have a fabulous comeback to toss at annoying relatives who ask, "Now, what is it you do for a living?"

"Same as you," they may deadpan. "Not a damn thing."

Anyway, it's time to find out who got their turkey stuffed as we review the past week's most interesting hirings and firings:

  • AcceLight Networks Inc. is a mystery wrapped up in an enigma wrapped up in a HUGE stack of unreturned phone calls. Seriously, what is up with that company?

    The company received $10 million in funding during the third quarter of this year, according to the latest MoneyTree Survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Venture Economics, and National Venture Capital Association. But this very company that once scoffed at the idea that it was hibernating is said to have cut its staff to the bone, despite the fresh funding (see Bear Market Inspires Hibernation).

    In October, AcceLight laid off 26 of its 40 employees in its Pittsburgh office. Another 100 were cut from its Ottawa operation, according to many of the workers affected (see Startups Make More Cuts). Now, one Headcount source says that 40 more have been cut in Ottawa and the Pittsburgh office is completely vacant, save a few administrative folk.

    We once wondered if that old bear AcceLight was hibernating. Now it appears it's about to be used for a fireplace rug. Headcount's calls to the marketing and PR staff (who were cut) were bounced to Denny Lee, director of product management, who never called back. Grrrr!

  • Is it time to bid hasta la vista to Alvesta Inc? The company, backed by Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE: CY) and Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), last announced a round of funding in November 2001. Since then, several Headcount sources say, the company has gone under. Founder and chief technology officer Dubravko Babic called Headcount to say he needs to find out what he can say about the company, so he can't tell us anything right now. Headcount wonders: Is it a good thing when the company's own founder must take an entire week to get permission to talk on the telephone?

  • Does Yotta mean "toast" in some other language? Richardson, Texas-based Yotta Networks Inc. has closed its doors. At its peak, the company employed more than 100 people, including former Alcatel hotshot Scott Rothrock (see Scott Rothrock, from Alcatel to Yotta Networks).

    Readers, please note that Yotta Networks is not the same company as YottaYotta Inc. ("ToastToast"), the storage networking vendor based in Canada.

  • BitBlitz Communications Inc. cut a chunk of its staff after raising $12.3 million in Series C funding last month, according to a recent report by VentureWire. Headcount stands by (idly reading) their story.

  • Oresis Communications shut its doors last week, according to Headcount sources. Observers say the company's demise was sickly humorous, like the Black Knight's final battle in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Like Tachion Networks and several other startups, Oresis was deadset building a Class 5 switch replacement that handled data and voice traffic. The company at one time employed more than 200 and had raised more than $100 million in venture capital funding. It filed for bankruptcy in early November and cut the staff to 15 as it galloped about the country looking for a buyer and clapping coconuts together to make the sound of horses' hooves.

  • The Canadian press reports that Antoine Paquin has joined a wireless semiconductor technology startup in southern California. Headcount doesn't know which startup Paquin has joined, but assumes that wireless semi-startups can't possibly be as plentiful on the ground there as oxygen bars and wheatgrass shakes.

    Paquin founded Skystone Systems in 1995 and helped sell it to Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) in 1997. Later he led Philsar Semiconductor until it was bought by Conexant Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CNXT) in 2000. Either Mr. Paquin once had a hot hand for dealing semiconductor startups, or the poor lad just can't hold down a job.

  • Telecom analyst Liza Henderson sent a note to reporters and friends announcing that she is no longer with TeleChoice Inc.. Headcount wonders if she Telechose to quit or if she was Teletold to get out.

  • Bob Shingler, has clawed his way to the president's office at Broadwing Inc. (NYSE: BRW). Shingler joined Broadwing in April 2002 as president of voice services. Just as Shingler settled into his new digs, Broadwing cut 500 employees, including 200 in Austin, Texas, according to the Austin Business Journal. Some former Broadwing employees now bitterly joke about being on "Shingler's List."

  • Just wondering... has Corona Networks Inc. finally taken its last drink of life? And what's the scene at Alidian Networks Inc. like these days? Headcount implores its raucous readers to come through with some dish on these entities so we can put to rest a pile of unconfirmed rumors on our desk.

  • D'oh! After being whipped by speculation, Coriolis Networks Inc. did let go nine out of its 100 employees this past week, the company reported (see Shooting Stars).

    Here's a summary of other industry appointments (and disappointments) from the past several days:

  • Qwest Purge Continues
  • Axe Falls at Broadcom
  • Arris Trims Down
  • Qtera Founder Joins VC Firm
  • MetraTech Hires Dudman
  • Agilent CEO Hops on Board
  • Carlyle Group Names Chairman
  • Avanex Gets New CEO Whew! What a week. Headcount needs to go rest our drumsticks. If we missed anything, send a tip to [email protected].

    — Phil Harvey and Marguerite Reardon, Senior Editors, Light Reading
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    Infinite_Wingnut 12/5/2012 | 12:57:12 AM
    re: Headcount: Long Holidays Yellowstone wrote: "JP is a rotten egg. Worst than a century egg. No offense to the Chinese guys who likes them."

    I like century eggs. Yellowstone .. you still work at Jedai then? Why don't you quit or find another job? If they get funding, will you stay?

    If the Chinese management is a problem, then why is he still there? Which management is protecting him?
    lcc307 12/5/2012 | 12:57:06 AM
    re: Headcount: Long Holidays Well, I don't have any share of Jedai. It is none of my business whether they get funding or not. If they get some money, I believe, it will just give Jedai a little bit more time before it closed. But, still wish them good luck, so there will be less people lost jobs.
    Yellowstone 12/5/2012 | 12:56:59 AM
    re: Headcount: Long Holidays Happy New year everyone!

    The countdown for Jedai has begun, 29 more days to go. Can the two Mickeys pull it through? Well, excuuuse me! I mean Michael and Mike. Let's see if they can walk-the-talk.

    gea 12/5/2012 | 12:56:57 AM
    re: Headcount: Long Holidays Yellowstone?

    Who is this? Would you know how to complete the following sentence...

    "This is a really great lab..."

    If so, hello!
    Yellowstone 12/5/2012 | 12:56:20 AM
    re: Headcount: Long Holidays Hi gea,

    Hmmm.....Sorry, I really wouldn't know how to finish that sentence. Your right though, much could be said about that lab.

    Bacchus 12/5/2012 | 12:56:11 AM
    re: Headcount: Long Holidays A man I know tells me that Jedai is doing great, but they are still waiting. They have strong software group but they need some good hardware people. I hear that they have a real good chance and who knows?

    Do they need more hardware skill?
    Shut_U_Up 12/5/2012 | 12:55:18 AM
    re: Headcount: Long Holidays Listen, why don't you just grow up and move out your mothers basements. with way you act here is reason you dont have job, either at Jedai or anywhere.
    surething 12/5/2012 | 12:53:50 AM
    re: Headcount: Long Holidays Is Jedai in dire straits? Is the countdown for getting some funding or signing a customer?

    Please excuse me if I am asking some obvious questions. I am new to this message board.
    photonalley 12/5/2012 | 12:52:43 AM
    re: Headcount: Long Holidays Hey GEA

    I have no ideal who some of these folks are. I didn't know things had gotten this bad at Jedai.

    So your happy on wall street? I can't answer that question about the lab either.

    Did you know the poodle now has straight hair?

    Give me call

    Photon Alley
    finger 12/5/2012 | 12:51:23 AM
    re: Headcount: Long Holidays what happened to the funding?. There is a strong rumor that Jedai will be laying off more people in the coming months.
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