In Fort Worth last week, a man robbed a Wells Fargo Bank branch by placing a bag on the bank's counter and handing the clerk a note. The note threatened that a bomb would explode if he didn't come up with some cash. The note, which was left at the crime scene, was also printed on the back of the robber's resume.
The Headcount staff is pleased to present the robber, Frederick McDowell, with this month's "Nice Job" award for his resourcefulness, savvy, and conscientious effort to conserve paper. Way to go, Frederick. You da bomb!
On that note (har, har), it's time to review some of the past week's most interesting hirings and firings:
In the year's most unlikely matchup, access equipment maker Zhone Technologies Inc. is buying core optical switch maker Tellium Inc. (Nasdaq: TELM). This means some firings are probably on the way. Zhone employed 237 at the end of 2002 and Tellium had 183 as of March 2003, a drop from the 544 Tellium employed in January 2002. Zhone's VP of marketing David Markowitz says the company will keep Tellium's New Jersey office open, but acknowledges that there will be cuts to redundant positions. No word yet as to how many will be affected (see Zhone Cashes In on Tellium).
Earlier this month, PON equipment maker Terawave Communications signed a joint marketing agreement with Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC). It also cut "less than 16" of its engineers, according to Frank Lockwood, the company's VP of marketing. He says Terawave, at the same time, has added sales and marketing staff as it moves from being a development-stage startup to a vendor able to land some big carrier contracts.
A spokesman for Stratos Lightwave Inc. (Nasdaq: STLWD) says the company is consolidating its U.S. manufacturing operations to its Chicago headquarters. It will also keep a design center in Florida. One noteworthy office getting zapped is the facility in California, where two startups once lived. Stratos acquired Paracer Inc. in April 2002 for about $25 million in stock, and it bought Tsunami Optics in February 2002 for about $16 million in stock (see Stratos Buys Tsunami). About 40 jobs have been affected in the consolidation, and Stratos will hire about 10 people in Chicago to help it continue to make and market Tsunami's CWDM product lines.
Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) still doesn't have a permanent CEO following Henry Nicholas's departure in January (see Big Day at Broadcom). Alan E. "Lanny" Ross, president and interim CEO, says the board has set high expectations for the post. "Since we all know there is no such thing as an Interim CEO, business continues as usual," Ross says, shortly before vanishing in a puff of logic.
Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: VTSS) axed its optical modules division last week, and it is also shutting its Colorado Springs fabrication facility, after failing to find a buyer for the plant. Vitesse says it will employ 740 by September 30, down from 830 this week.
Headcount finally heard from RHK Inc. regarding its recent management change (see RHK Changes CEOs). The new CEO, John Soden, phoned from Paris, where he was visiting a client, to say that RHK is indeed becoming more of an advisory firm. The company will still do market research, but mostly in the context of helping specific clients. Soden also confirmed that Cynthia Boucher, RHK's senior VP of marketing and chief information officer, has left. He says he'll assume her duties.
Here's a summary of other industry appointments (and disappointments) from the past several days: