Optical/IP Networks

Juniper Says Job Cuts Are Minor

Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), making adjustments during a tough period, has cut a few employees, but the company still insists there's no truth behind rumors of a large layoff.

Late in August, an analyst report speculated about a 10 percent layoff that would affect about 930 employees -- a theory that Juniper promptly shot down.

More recently, a source told Light Reading that Juniper had indeed cut some people in sales, customer support and a few product business units.

That source had heard these moves were part of a deeper layoff, but a Juniper spokeswoman says that's not the case. Here's the full statement Juniper sent to Light Reading:

    Juniper consistently works to best align our people and resources against the growth opportunities on which we are focused. While we are eliminating a small number of positions, the company plans to end the year with a net increase in our global workforce.

Those final few words are interesting: It could be that Juniper is just reviewing its priorities in a manner akin to Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), which has been attacking its rival with renewed vigor this week. Cisco, though, did cut a considerable number of positions. (See Cisco Starts Totally Ragging on Juniper and Cisco Simplifies; Cuts 6,500 Jobs.)

"There are a lot of changes going on [at Juniper], and maybe that was misinterpreted," leading to August's layoff rumors, says Ray Mota, an analyst with ACG Research .

Juniper certainly has been changing. CEO Kevin Johnson continues to remake the company and bring in high-level people and it wouldn't be a surprise if the current macro economic difficulties resulted in additional changes. (See Ex-Microsoft Cloud Exec Joins Juniper, Interview: Robert Muglia, Juniper's New Software Guy, Juniper Raids Microsoft and Juniper Darkens 2011 Outlook.)

At the same time, some important-sounding people seem to be leaving Juniper of their own accord, including some sales executives who recently joined Cisco. (See Juniper Sales Execs Jump to Cisco and Juniper's QFabric Man Defects to Cisco.)

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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