Turkey Awards 2007
You might remember these from 2002 or 2003. (See Zhone Takes Top Turkey Award and Turkey Awards.)
The idea is to honor (if that's the appropriate word) the most head-shakingly bad newsmakers of the year.
You'll get the idea quickly enough. Here's the list:
No. 1: Prize Year-Round Turkey – Alcatel-Lucent
In reporting its first four quarters as a merged company, Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) has delivered investors one sledgehammer blow after another. The stock, at $7.37 per share on November 21, is down 47 percent from the beginning of the year.
AlcaLu started 2007 with disappointing earnings, layoffs, and product cuts. The next two quarters didn't get any better. (See Alcatel-Lucent Job Cull Hits 12,500, AlcaLu Makes Product Cuts , Merger Tears Into AlcaLu's Sales, and AlcaLu's Russo: We're Under Attack!)
Halloween, the day Alcatel announced third-quarter figures, brought on a new corporate plan from CEO Patricia Russo, including more layoffs and some serious executive shuffling. (See Tough Month Ahead for AlcaLu's Russo, AlcaLu Cuts 4,000 More Jobs, Russo Shakes Up AlcaLu's Top Team, and AlcaLu Revamps Its Carrier Business.)
So begins a new chapter. But for a consistent bummer of a performance, quarter after quarter, with no quick end in sight, AlcaLu has to be awarded the highest score possible.
No. 2: Humanitarian Turkey – Yahoo
Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) got raked over the coals by the U.S. Congress for aiding the Chinese government in finding and eventually jailing dissidents. The resulting outcry could have repercussions for Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT). (See Moral 'Pygmies' and Cisco Voters Down Human Rights Proposal.)
Yahoo has tried to patch things up, selling its Chinese operations to Alibaba.com Hong Kong Ltd. and settling lawsuits with those it wronged. But the company gets bonus turkeys for the decisions that created this situation in the first place.
No. 3: Danger Turkey – AT&T's Exploding Cabinets
Two batteries, 20 miles apart. Two explosions. Great photos. (See Exclusive Photos: Fire to the Node.)
The downside is that you had explosions and fires – hot enough to melt copper wiring – happening in unsuspecting residential neighborhoods. (See AT&T Eyes Batteries in Explosion Probe and AT&T Confirms Second VRAD Fire.) The first incident happened in 2006, but the Light Reading investigation carried into this turkey-awards period.
No. 4: Chicken Turkey – Sprint We're going to unwire the nation! We're going to collaborate with Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR)! We'll build the best WiMax network this country will ever see!
On second thoughts... nah. (See Report: Sprint & Clearwire Split.)
No. 5: Undercooked Turkey – Muni WiFi
High-profile mesh projects in San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, and elsewhere have either hit major snags or been canned altogether. One of the major backers of large-scale muni projects, EarthLink Inc. (Nasdaq: ELNK), is now considering exiting the market altogether. (See Muni Meltdown, SF Muni Project on the Ropes, and What's Muni Wireless Good For?)
Read Unstrung's Top Five Wireless Turkeys for more about muni WiFi hype, Sprint/Clearwire, and other wireless mishaps.
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