Headcount: Time to Punt?

Fresh from a serene weekend of watching football, Headcount is ready to run down the most interesting hirings and firings of the past week:

  • Yafo Networks will shut its doors for good on January 21, according to a letter sent to workers regarding Yafo's corporate-sponsored 401K program. Since its inception, Yafo had raised $61 million in funding to solve the problem of polarization mode dispersion (PMD) on ultra high-speed networks. At its peak, the startup had more than 100 employees.

  • Atoga Systems has confirmed that it cut more than 20 workers last week, bringing its staff size down to about 31 people. P.G. Menon, Atoga's VP of marketing, says Atoga is restructuring and has three options: It can seek more funding, look for a buyer, or liquidate its assets. Menon says his team will know soon if the end is really near. "We aren't quite at the point where we need to liquidate. We still have some time."

  • Tunable laser vendor Bandwidth9 Inc. has cut its staff to 49 and is looking for a buyer. "We are looking at several options," says Bandwidth9 CEO Hatch Graham. "One of them is M&A activity."

    He doesn't seem worried about potential takers. "It's not a question of interest; it's a question of whether they can afford us," Graham says.

    In addition, Bandwidth9 has consolidated its manufacturing in Fremont, Calif., closing down a facility in Atlanta. Bandwidth9's most recent round of funding was in September 2000 (see Bandwidth9 Raises $80 Million).

  • Edge router vendor Crescent Networks is winding down its business, according to a reliable source. Evidently, the company never recovered fully from its October 2002 restructuring, when it cut staff down to about 21 people (see Crescent is Waning). Our source says Crescent got some nods from European carriers, but booking the sales took longer than the company's cash would allow, and its venture capitalists opted not to keep it afloat. Crescent raised about $66 million in financing since its inception.

  • Optical switch maker Tellium Inc. (Nasdaq: TELM) cut its headcount by 130 employees, or 40 percent of its workforce (see Tellium Lays Off 130). In mid 2001, Tellium's roster had swelled to more than 500, but now it's back down to roughly 195. The company expects that, beginning in the second quarter, the job cuts will save it about $4 million a quarter in operating expenses.

  • Avici Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: AVCI; Frankfurt: BVC7) says it has made some changes in its sales staff as it moves to sales assignments based on channels and major accounts. Senior VP of worldwide sales Chris Simpson and VP of North American sales Phil Wonderley are out, the company says. Rick Ford has taken the post of worldwide channel sales, and George Oliver has taken the title of VP of North America sales; both report to Avici CEO Steve Kaufman.

  • Headcount was having a bowl of Puffins this morning when we noticed that Cirrex Corp.'s picture was on the milk carton. Folks have had a difficult time reaching anyone at the company for several weeks. The company's answering service invites callers to "leave a voicemail message on the company mailbox," but, unfortunately, the mailbox is full. Has the company gone the way of the Dodo?

  • How many folks are left at WaveSplitter Technologies Inc.? That's a question CEO Sheau Sheng Chen finally shed some light on: "When it's all said and done, we'll probably stabilize at around 50 people," down from about 60 now, he says. At one time WaveSplitter employed 303, according to some old Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings.

    Here's a summary of other industry appointments (and disappointments) from the past several days:

  • Intel Promotes VPs
  • France Names New Regulatory Chair
  • WaveSmith Overhaul Ousts Founders
  • Polaris Picks Panditi as CEO
  • C&W Brings in Lapthorne
  • Russo Returns
  • Internet Photonics Hires Cable VP
  • Carlyle Hires Directors
  • DigiLens Shrinks Another 50 Percent
  • Transmode Steals Nortel VP
  • Acopia Appoints VP
  • Cedar Point Hires Wray West
  • Gigabit Optics Hires Sales VP That's all for now. If we missed anything, please send a tip to [email protected]. Until next time, we're counting down the days until we'll be back on the couch for more painted face fanaticism and football foolishness.

    — Phil Harvey, Marguerite Reardon, Pauline Rigby, and Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editors, Light Reading Larry, Monkey, contributed to this report.

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    BlueWater66 12/5/2012 | 12:52:51 AM
    re: Headcount: Time to Punt? Is Gore Photonics completely gone? I think there are still some people over there, but I've heard (and they said via press releases) that the Photonics group was shutting down in Oct/Nov.
    tookl4wrds 12/5/2012 | 12:52:48 AM
    re: Headcount: Time to Punt? Gore is gone. I called there recently to speak to a friend as was told they no longer work there. After a few calls I found out about the dispersion of the other employees. Dove Bid recently sent out an e-mail notification of an auction of the Lompoc and Pleinfeld facilities. The auction will be on Feb 6. We can all stock up on useless VCSEL IP.
    fiberlight 12/5/2012 | 12:52:48 AM
    re: Headcount: Time to Punt? Does anybody know what is happening with the Lockheed Sanders twins (spin-off and rip-off)?

    In the last postings from TeraConnect they were touting product and a new VP of Sales. A message board posting later said they were down to 10 warm bodies and shrinking.

    Last postings from Xanoptix said they had done a big marketing deal with Tyco but the latest news is that they can't qualify their product(s?) and Tyco is sitting with a sales bag full of hot air.

    So who is going to fill the void for massively parallel optics?
    zettabit 12/5/2012 | 12:52:47 AM
    re: Headcount: Time to Punt? Does anybody have any scoop on where Innovance or Ceyba are in terms of financials?

    Given their last money raises over 12 months ago, and what are sure to be high burn rates given their company size, they must be hurting. Of interest would be what traction they are getting from investors for additional cash infusion to help them ride out 2003-2004, number of employees, and what actions they may be taking or contemplating in terms of headcount reductions or operating cuts.

    For that matter, does anybody have info on Celion or Photonex as well?

    I really question the viability of all these long-haul DWDM vendors given how piss-poor the market will be throughout 2003, and given how many long-haul players there are targetting such a small market: Alcatel, Celion, Ceyba, Ciena, Cisco, Corvis, Fujitsu, Huawei, Innovance, Lucent, Marconi, NEC, Nortel, Photonex, Siemens.
    vomonquan 12/5/2012 | 12:52:47 AM
    re: Headcount: Time to Punt? My friend was included in a massive blood letting by the brand new vampire CEO.
    Polaris is dead
    arak 12/5/2012 | 12:52:46 AM
    re: Headcount: Time to Punt? Called Cosine today to contact their marketing. No one seems to answer. No replies to emails either. Have they closed doors ?

    RouterOttawa 12/5/2012 | 12:52:45 AM
    re: Headcount: Time to Punt? Does anybody have any scoop on where Innovance or Ceyba are in terms of financials?

    Word on the street has Innovance running rather short of cash in March/April.

    Also, the web master at Accelight needs to get up to speed ... many of the people listed at http://accelight.com/managemen... aren't there anymore.

    edgehead 12/5/2012 | 12:52:45 AM
    re: Headcount: Time to Punt? CoSine is definitely still around - they've got $100 million in cash. Don't know why they're not answering tho'
    darkone 12/5/2012 | 12:52:44 AM
    re: Headcount: Time to Punt? >So who is going to fill the void for massively parallel optics?

    I hope you wrote that in jest. The only market I see is for supercomputers. Am I missing something?

    I have heard a rumor that Xanoptix is Downsizing.

    Dr.Q 12/5/2012 | 12:52:41 AM
    re: Headcount: Time to Punt? Back in 2000 a number of hot-shots left Lucent's Opto division in PA (now TriQuint, recently Agere), moved 5 miles up the road and formed a set of opto companies loosely (and pejoratively) referred to as mini-Lucents.
    Agility mothballed their operation over the summer--keeping chip operations in California.
    OptronX went down last fall (JDSU bought parts of it at a fire sale price).
    Cenix laid off all but about 5 folks just before Christmas.
    T-Networks is struggling, but is said to be getting some market traction.
    Circadiant had a short write-up in this space in November, but is otherwise keeping kind of quiet.
    A 6th opto start-up in the same area, Opticalis, pulled its plug in the late summer.

    - Dr.Q
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