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Optical Team Seeks Group Gig

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
9/14/2001

At least 50 engineers laid off by Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) last month are looking to move on -- as a group.

"We're looking for a company that needs a complete R&D team to develop optical networking products," says Trey Weaver, former director of Lucent's R&D facility in Research Triangle Park (RTP), N.C. "We've got every conceiveable kind of expertise -- software, hardware, firmware, optics, real-time OSs, you name it."

On the downside, Weaver says the group does not have ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) development experience.

Weaver, 47, opted for Lucent's early retirement package back in July 2001, just before the company closed its doors in RTP. Since then, he's been juggling his own consulting business with keeping an eye out for possible group opportunities.

He says at least 50 and possibly as many as 80 engineers would be interested in joining a startup or an established company seeking a ready-made team in RTP. "We'd love to help a big company start an optical facility here," he notes.

Other RTP employees of Lucent, who've been given 60 days' notice, say they're ready to go. "We were a cohesive unit," says technical staffer Mark Reeves, whose expertise lies in embedded firmware and device drivers. "A lot of good, talented people would definitely be willing to work together again."

"Trey helped put together a good group. We enjoy our work and would like to stay together," says Rex Carroll, a 20-year Lucent veteran with optical software expertise.

Lucent says it notified roughly 100 RTP employees in August that the company would be closing the facility, which was opened about two-and-a-half years ago to develop low-end DWDM equipment. According to Lucent, an undisclosed number of employees were given the option to relocate to Lucent facilities in Cary, N.C. Lucent does not have any other RTP facilities.

The team developed two products during its tenure and was working on another when it got the closure notice. One product, a 400-Gbit/s platform called AllMetro, was discontinued when Lucent purchased Chromatis in 2000. (Subsequently, Chromatis was closed -- see Lucent Ditches Chromatis.) A second product, Metropolis MLS, a 50-Gbit/s DWDM metro access box, was never officially released and has hit the "rationalized" list. But Lucent says its technology will be incorporated into future versions of the company's Metropolis Enhanced Optical Networking (EON) DWDM systems.

Weaver and his fellow ex-Lucenters say the present job market in RTP is tight, even though a good number of optical networking companies have facilities there, including Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT), ONI Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ONIS), and Redback Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RBAK) -- as well as startups Caspian Networks and OptXCon Inc.

"The big companies have had huge layoffs, and ONI is primarily doing software here," says Weaver. Startups already are fully staffed. And according to Mark Reeves, candidates can expect to compete with at least 100 others for every job opening.

Weaver says he hasn't gotten any direct leads from companies seeking to put together a team. But he welcomes any input. He can be reached via email at [email protected]— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.com

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lightbulb0
lightbulb0
12/4/2012 | 7:50:57 PM
re: Optical Team Seeks Group Gig
I am not sure it would be a good idea to let these people stick as a team. Whoever is willing to hire these people should fire the management first. Whatever failed the first place would fail again if nothing changes.
seabizkit
seabizkit
12/4/2012 | 7:50:55 PM
re: Optical Team Seeks Group Gig
Lucent treated their people contrary to market conditions and reality, i.e. huge severances packages, benefits. Will this benefit addicted group be able to find another Ma Lucent?
ravencaw
ravencaw
12/4/2012 | 7:50:54 PM
re: Optical Team Seeks Group Gig
If they want to be another Lucent, they'll also need to hire about 100 physicists to sit around and invent molecular tweezers and study starfish skin and then give the patents away. :-D
byteEm
byteEm
12/4/2012 | 7:50:50 PM
re: Optical Team Seeks Group Gig
Heard from my brother that Latus Lightworks based
in richardson, TX is closing down, because they
could not get any additional funding.

Watch out Metera Networks. You are next. These
are the same founders who sold Monterey to
Cisco.

What a SCAM by the founders. May be it is time to
go back to home country.
SiO2
SiO2
12/4/2012 | 7:50:47 PM
re: Optical Team Seeks Group Gig
byteEm writes:

Heard from my brother that Latus
Lightworks based in richardson,
TX is closing down, because they
could not get any additional funding.

Watch out Metera Networks. You are
next. These are the same founders who
sold Monterey to Cisco.

Any shortlist of companies circling the
drain has to include Geyser Networks.
Wu-Fu's first failure perhaps?

SiO2

seabizkit
seabizkit
12/4/2012 | 7:50:47 PM
re: Optical Team Seeks Group Gig
Latus has an excellent group of engineers. Their system was very complex. At least their not like Lingering Lucent.
HarveyMudd
HarveyMudd
12/4/2012 | 7:50:45 PM
re: Optical Team Seeks Group Gig
Lucents incompetence in laying off the engineers and closing off rthe facilities that are useless is costing millions of dollars to the shareholders.

All deadwoods at all levels specially in the Bell Labs must be eliminated. The hefty severence packages are unfair to the shareholders who have lost billions of dollars.

Lucent wakeup!
optipal
optipal
12/4/2012 | 7:50:44 PM
re: Optical Team Seeks Group Gig
Rumors suggest a Lucent organization up north (lamda router) may be effect next. Sales need to improve by January or they too will have significant staff cuts. Okay Howdie Doodie you don't have Bosco to blame anymore.

Optipal
donethat
donethat
12/4/2012 | 7:50:43 PM
re: Optical Team Seeks Group Gig
Maybe Lucent can't blame Bosco this time...but given the fact that Bosco led a $75? million ATM development failure (not a single unit sold) prior to being given the optical job, you really have to wonder what was going on inside Lucent. Mistakes of this magnitude take a while to recover from.
johnjohn
johnjohn
12/4/2012 | 7:50:40 PM
re: Optical Team Seeks Group Gig
Looks like the EON is the second rendition of the 40G platform. I wonder how that can compete with the likes of ONI, Ciena, Nortel in the metro DWDM space.
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