It was a quiet week in Lake Telecom, where the women are strong, the men are children, and the debt ratings are all below average. (For those who've never heard of Garrison Keillor, just forge ahead.)
Indeed, on the employment front, there have been few signs of a break in the telecom winter, despite the temperature outside. Nonetheless, we shall press on. Here's a look at a few of the week's most interesting hirings, firings, and other employment news:
File under: "No, we're not surprised." Employees at long-haul DWDM equipment vendor Xtera Communications Inc. have been hit with layoffs yet again. This latest culling, which will be finalized on May 2, will affect another 30 percent of the company. Xtera employs about 120 folks at the moment.
Sources close to Corvis Corp. (Nasdaq: CORV) say the human resources department there is working overtime preparing packages and paperwork for the next round of cuts. The company had previously offered guidance that its headcount would drop to about 500 by the end of the first fiscal quarter of 2003. A Corvis spokesperson wasn't available to chat before our deadline.
The core router market continues to be a drag. Israel's Globes newspaper reported recently that Charlotte’s Web Networks Ltd. has cut 20 more employees, about 30 percent of its staff, thanks to a dormant market. The company's Website says it still employs more than 100 people. An inquiry by Headcount wasn't answered in time for our deadline, but one source close to the company tells us that the startup has curtailed its participation in Supercomm 2003, which is perhaps a sign that it is hunkering down for a while.
After some poking 'round, it turns out that plans to revive the old Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) photonics plant in Ipswich, U.K., are still being born, if not already stillborn. Corning, which originally bought the plant from BTexact Technologies, said in January it was shutting the facility down. The East of England Development Agency (EEDA) took up the task of saving the plant.
The EEDA and BTexact, which owns the site that the plant occupies, are still in the process of cooking up a business plan, according to the EEDA's press officer Chris Lock. That means, of course, that any prospect of those plant employees getting their jobs back has been pushed out 'til who knows when. "All the staff at the Corning Research Center had been laid off, but a core group has now been retained on a consultancy basis," Lock writes to Light Reading's Mary Jander. Blimey.
Employment Fun Fact of the Week: The number of employees on payroll in the communications industry -- which includes those working at phone companies and wireless operators in the United States -- dropped about 6 percent to 1.5 million between March 2002 and March 2003, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Euphemism Alert: Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) April 10 press release, apparently written by a robot, contained the headline "Brocade Continues Business Model Optimization." The release, predictabily, detailed a round of layoffs.
Here's a summary of other industry appointments (and disappointments) from the past several days: