The startup fine-tunes its staffing after shrinking to nearly half its former size

January 29, 2002

2 Min Read
Chorum Tries Another Size

How big should a five-year-old optical components company be? Chorum Technologies Inc. is trying to find out.

The Richardson, Texas-based components and subsystems maker is shifting in size again, letting go about 13 of its 400 employees. CEO Scott Grout says the cuts have been in the areas of operations and manufacturing support.

At fewer than 400 folks, Chorum is down a few from the 561 it sported back in April 2001. Back then, Chorum had just cut 250 from payroll, down from the more than 800 people it employed at its peak (see Chorum Acknowledges Staff Cuts).

Senior managers departing Chorum last year included senior VP of corporate development Mike Decelle; VP and chief counsel Daniel Rabun; and VP of marketing and business development Doug Dickerson, who joined InterWest Partners as entrepreneur-in-residence (see Chorum Adds Four Veeps).

“Quite a bit of this is reallocating of resources,” Grout explains. “We have been more efficient on operations, and we need more help in sales and engineering.” Chorum plans to add more folks in sales and says it’s still looking forward to taking itself public when carrier spending levels off and the market allows.

Chorum’s fluctuation isn’t that odd, considering the circumstances surrounding it early last year. The company had been beefing up manufacturing staff to deal with two customers -- TyCom Ltd. (NYSE: TCM; BSX: TCM) and Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) -- and it was quickly adding legal and financial support staff to deal with an impending initial public offering (see Chorum Seals Deal With Nortel and TyCom Buying Chorum Filters).

Only a few weeks after filing, Chorum withdrew its IPO (see Chorum Withdraws IPO). Nortel, of course, melted down, and it’s likely not contributing much to Chorum’s revenues these days (see Nortel Fire Sale). And a former employee confirmed that the company stopped full volume production of its optical slicer filter products for its TyCom contract in late December.

Even though its last funding round of $54.7 million in October 2001 was a down round, you won’t see Grout complaining (see Chorum Scores $54.7M). “We have about $85 million in the bank, and revenue tripled in 2001, and we increased customers from two to about a 12,” he says. “All things considered, it was a pretty good year.”

— Marguerite Reardon and Phil Harvey, Senior Editors, Light Reading

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like