Headcount: Outlawing Offshoring?

More fuel for your offshoring worries: The Kansas City Star reports Kansas and Missouri legislators are sponsoring state bills opposing the practice of offshoring, after discovering the Department of Social Services had contracted with a company that moved its call center to India.

Apparently, the lawmakers didn’t like the idea of U.S. tax dollars going toward the end goal of moving jobs outside the U.S.

At the federal level, several pieces of legislation are addressing the practice. One bill even calls for the elimination of federal grants for companies that practice offshoring, according to Legal Times.

Headcount wonders what is the right balance between helping workers by preserving U.S. jobs and hindering companies by forcing them to deal with U.S. product (for which they pay higher prices)?

As always, our discussion boards are open for business. And while you’re venting on the boards (or paying someone in India to vent for you), we can’t pass up this opportunity to update you on the telecom industry’s most interesting hirings and firings of the past few days.

  • Just when you thought things were quiet at Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT), the company announces this morning that it has bounced its top financial officers, following complications related to a financial audit of past results (see Nortel CFO Out and Nortel Replaces CFO). The news hasn’t helped Nortel’s stock price, which has lost nearly 40 percent of its value in the past month. The company’s stock had dropped $1.19 (18.51%) to $5.24 in late afternoon trading on Monday.

  • Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN) says it has cut 40 U.S. employees in the past few days. Interestingly, leading up to the cuts, rumors had been all over the map; one source had the company cutting as many as 300 people. Headcount wonders if more Ciena folk will add the word “former” to their titles soon.
  • There were rumors afoot that Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. subsidiary FutureWei fired its original sales force because they weren’t performing. Recent job postings on Futurewei’s site seem to lend credibility to the chatter. But Richard Lee, Huawei's manager of international advertising and promotions, says FutureWei's sales are "very small"; though he points out that the company hardly got started before its remit changed -- namely, when Huawei formed its joint venture with 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS). FuturWei stopped selling enterprise equipment and laid off several staff as it began to focus solely on the telecom market, Lee says. FutureWei currently has "over 40" on staff.

    Has the 3Com alliance paid off? 3Com may shed more light on that this week when it announces its quarterly results.

  • Some quick hits from today’s SEC filings… Redback Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RBAK) says as of December 31, 2003, it had 483 employees… As of February 20, Tekelec Inc. (Nasdaq: TKLC) had 1,065 workers, but its filings add that it is constantly looking to cull. “We will continue to review all job openings to determine whether job functions or business processes can be assumed… resulting in lower personnel costs,” stateth the filings... Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN) checks in with 1,603 employees as of December 31, 2003… Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA), as of January 2, 2004, employed 3,515 people. Most of them don’t mind Naperville at all (see No Naperville for Kennedy).

  • One concerned Headcount reader writes: “I think it is kind of cool to see who in the executive ranks gets hired and fired or to learn about mass layoffs. But the question I have for you is, do you ever hear of companies hiring the blue collar worker? It gets tiresome to learn about so-and-so being hired for the position of executive of blah-blah-blah.”

    So you want us to feature a Headcount nine-to-fiver? Consider it done. Nominate your most interesting non-executive hiring or firing by sending us a note, and we’ll run our favorite submission in the next column. Make sure they don’t have the letters “V” and “P” in their title, unless it’s something funny, like “Viceroy of Pants.”

    Here are some of the other appointments and disappointments from the past several days:

    That's all we’ve got this week. Until next time, send your Headcount news tips to: [email protected].

    — Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

  • Page 1 / 5   >   >>
    firstmiler 12/5/2012 | 2:14:49 AM
    re: Headcount: Outlawing Offshoring? Does LR get paid by the quantity of posts. This headline is certainly baiting the optical public for another intense round of electronic debate.
    alcabash 12/5/2012 | 2:14:47 AM
    re: Headcount: Outlawing Offshoring? As of next week, Rajeev Ramaswandhi will take over the Headcount column from our beloved Phil.
    LightReading would like to thank Phil for his significant contribution and wishes him well in his new endeavours.

    Peter Heywood and Steve Saunders.
    lighten up!! 12/5/2012 | 2:14:47 AM
    re: Headcount: Outlawing Offshoring? Should move their whole operation to India or China and provide their shareholders with the ultimate in value- lowest cost products. There is no reason for any of these companies to be here in the U.S. for they are not doing Americans any great service. Now let's see how many CEOs are willing to put their money where their mouth is and relocate to India and China. Come on let's go, the shareholders are waiting. Fiorina, Russo and others pack up your stuff because shareholders expect higher return and your fat salaries are eating into it.
    bleek-times 12/5/2012 | 2:14:45 AM
    re: Headcount: Outlawing Offshoring? To protect the fat cats in Maryland, Ciena does its own type of off-shoring.

    Specifically, purchase promising Silicon valley companies; replace the talent with incompetent MD employees; and finally blame the target company when the acquisition falls through.

    I think wall street is starting to realize the formula and pretty soon there will be bleek-times for the crubmling empire
    atmguy 12/5/2012 | 2:14:44 AM
    re: Headcount: Outlawing Offshoring?
    >>To protect the fat cats in Maryland, Ciena does its own type of off-shoring.

    I can't say the above is true. But they definitely do'nt do due diligence when they acquire a company.
    whyiswhy 12/5/2012 | 2:14:44 AM
    re: Headcount: Outlawing Offshoring? It's about time we raised the productivity of our tax dollars. We should hire ex-Chinese government officials to run things here stateside. Let them in under H1B visas. Afterall, we can certainly certify we can't find any US politicians willing to work, regardless of the salary.

    atmguy 12/5/2012 | 2:14:43 AM
    re: Headcount: Outlawing Offshoring?
    Let us get H1Bs to replace the likes of Florina, Pat Russo, Dunn etc. We can get better CEOs at 1/5th of what these guys are making. If offshoring is proven to cut costs, let us do it all the way, instead of bottom==>up, top==>down.
    opsguy 12/5/2012 | 2:14:42 AM
    re: Headcount: Outlawing Offshoring? Well not to put a fine point on this but some of the impediments to growth for Ciena were just let go. That is to say, those people who were responsible for the transfer of key positions to their fiefdoms in Linthicum have been let go. Examples: A VP in ops who fought out-sourcing tooth and nail, a Director in Materials who wouldn't admit that the optics industry is TOTALLY different than the auto industry, a Plant Manager who, frankly, had his head lodged firmly up his rear, he couldn't read a schematic and numerous do-nothings who just said "yes sir"!

    You are right, they got rid of many talented people when really all they needed to do was get rid of the Linticum crew. Till this day, they're begging the Maryland employees to work at the acquisitions locations. Why do that when the people who know the product are already there? Really, you just transfer your order entry, MRP and shop floor tools and your good to go, simplistic I know, but...?
    opsguy 12/5/2012 | 2:14:41 AM
    re: Headcount: Outlawing Offshoring? Ciena is "surviving" because of those acquisitions not because of long-haul. Let face it, they didn't buy hardware solutions,other than Core, they "acquired" cash and a cushion.

    Until recently, when was the last time you heard of ANY serious development coming out of Ciena? Nada! So my question is, why even bother to keep what engineers they still have? Upgrades? New loads? New cards? You don't need 350+ on the West or East Coast for that, especially in K2 and to a lessor extent in Core and ONLINE metro. Sorry for being so negative.
    falsecut 12/5/2012 | 2:14:30 AM
    re: Headcount: Outlawing Offshoring? What's good for the goose is no good for the gander. Your CEO will never relocate or cut his salary if he can help it. He's too "important" to the company.
    Page 1 / 5   >   >>
    Sign In