Optical/IP Networks

Headcount: Oath (#@%#!!) of Allegiance

More doom and gloom in the service provider market, this time a little too close to home. Allegiance Telecom Inc. (Nasdaq: ALGX), which hosts Light Reading’s Website, has had a bad week.

On Tuesday, a duct in Allegiance’s Boston “mega-pop” was squashed by a huge piling, knocking out Light Reading, the Boston Globe, and more than a 1,000 other Websites for most of the business day (see Big Dig KOs Light Reading).

On Wednesday, it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, having failed to get its debt under control (see Allegiance Files for Chapter 11).

Could this be a cue for Howard Bloom, Allegiance’s director of global outsourcing, to take a walk? In a puff piece in ISP-Planet (whatever that is), Bloom says he joined Allegiance because of its reputation for reliability: "Their strong suit has always been that they're just a very reliable provider, one that you can always count on..." for what exactly? Seven 7s reliability?

Whatever. With the Bloom off that rose, let's take a look at the industry's latest hirings and firings:

  • Équipe Communications Corp., the partner Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN) didn’t acquire, laid off 30 percent of its staff yesterday, cutting its total headcount down to 65 employees (see Ciena Nabs WaveSmith). The layoffs should help the company stretch its cash for the next 19 months as it focuses more heavily on IP/MPLS, says Bob Sullebarger, the vice president of marketing for the company.

    The relationship with Ciena is still strong, he insists. Ciena will be showing off WaveSmith Networks Inc.’s gear along with Équipe’s core multiservice switch in an IP/MPLS and ATM interoperability demonstration at the Supercomm 2003 tradeshow in Atlanta next month. Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) will take part in the demo.

  • Speaking of Ciena, a company spokesperson confirmed that, as of last week, Nick Jeffery, former president of service providers at Cable & Wireless (NYSE: CWP) is in, and Rafael de Ory is out, as managing director of sales in Europe. Goes to show what a big deal with British Telecommunications plc (BT) (NYSE: BTY; London: BTA) gets you these days (see Ciena's BT Coup: How Big?). Jeffery will report directly to Gary Smith, CEO and worldwide head of sales.

  • Juniper has also been monkeying with its sales team. Don Pyle, the company’s North American sales VP, who is 44 years old, is “retiring” from Juniper, says Kathy Durr, spokeswoman for the company. In Internet years, that makes him 88, well above the age of retirement.

    “It's a small setback, but not a huge deal,” says Mark Sue, an analyst with CE Unterberg Towbin. “I'm sure they will replace him, but it does cause some sales disruption.”

    Jeff Lindholm, vice president for worldwide sales, will manage North American operations until a replacement is fully on board.

  • Switch-fabric startup Zagros Networks Inc. has called it quits, laying off its staff of 30. The company was approaching completion of its chips but wasn't able to land committed customers to keep the money flowing, says Wade Appelman, vice president of marketing. The technology is being shopped around, with other chip companies showing some strong interest, he says. (It might not have been the best of ideas to name themselves after an Iranian mountain range...)

  • Bandwidth9 lives on! Most employees were given their 60-day notice in February (see Bandwidth9 Goes Dark), departing in mid-April when a buyer wasn't found. But founder and CTO Wupen "Cough" Yuen says the company will plug along with its 10 remaining employees.

  • Essient Photonics Ltd., a startup making 10-Gbit/s and 40-Gbit/s ultra-low-power modulators, filed liquidation papers in the U.K. last week. The company is trying to sell its assets, which include two patents, says Jeremy Chappell, vice president of marketing. All 20 of the employees including the CEO had been working on reduced salaries for the last couple of months. The company had closed its first and only round of funding last March for $7 million, but it had only received $4 million of it.

    “The money was supposed to come in stages,” says Chappell. “And the second portion was contingent on meeting certain objectives, which we weren’t able to accomplish.”

    Here's a summary of other industry appointments (and disappointments) from the past several days: We’re always looking for layoff dirt, so if you hear any good hiring and firing gossip, send a tip to [email protected].

    — Marguerite Reardon and Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editors, Light Reading
  • drone387 12/5/2012 | 12:03:37 AM
    re: Headcount: Oath (#@%#!!) of Allegiance And the good news keeps on coming ...
    topolino 12/5/2012 | 12:03:34 AM
    re: Headcount: Oath (#@%#!!) of Allegiance It seems that LaserComm has closed:

    Lite Rock 12/5/2012 | 12:03:33 AM
    re: Headcount: Oath (#@%#!!) of Allegiance The auction is tomorrow.


    Maybe Avanex can buy the IP for a couple grand and have a CD device that works. (Cheap shot):-)

    Just another step through the aftermath of the bursted bubble. Unfortunately there will be more to follow components and systems outfits.

    "The road goes on forever and the party never ends"

    Rock on

    P.S. Did you find a new job yet? Word of advice stay out of telecom.
    Route_495 12/5/2012 | 12:02:36 AM
    re: Headcount: Oath (#@%#!!) of Allegiance at least that's what i hear! anyone know more?
    seen_the_light 12/5/2012 | 12:02:31 AM
    re: Headcount: Oath (#@%#!!) of Allegiance
    This "rumor" has been circulated since Y2K! Clearly Cisco doesn't need an entry into the core ATM market.
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