Nortel/Cisco Updates

5:55 PM -- The tense but, let's fact it, entertaining Nortel Networks Ltd. standoff with French workers might be winding down, after a week of headlines and drama. (See Nortel's Noisy Strikers and Nortel's Gallic Goodbye.)

The fun part: Workers started threatening to blow up buildings and staged what turned out to be a mock bomb threat by putting empty gas canisters in front of Nortel's facility in Châteauford, France. Reports say they took their cue from an auto parts manufacturer that's also going out of business.

The dull denouement: Bloomberg is reporting that Industry Minister Christian Estrosi met with the Nortel workers -- on condition that they stop talking about blowing things up -- and struck an unofficial agreement that will keep Châteauford open until Aug. 16, the deadline for submitting bids to purchase the operation.

Separately: The Wall Street Journal says Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) has laid off 600 to 700 employees in San Jose, Calif., with more cuts happening in branch offices. It appears to be part of the 1,500 to 2,000 job cuts Cisco had mentioned in April. (See Cisco Awaits the Hammer.)

In terms of mood, the layoffs are an appropriate cap to Cisco's fiscal year, which ends this month. With Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) having reported optimistic earnings for the PC industry -- maybe -- plenty of eyes will be on Cisco's evaluation of the economy when it reports earnings Aug. 5.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

Stevery 12/5/2012 | 4:00:30 PM
re: Nortel/Cisco Updates

Another Nortel update:  The US pensions were just kicked to the feds.  Apparently (get this) Nortel underfunded their pensions.  Who would have guessed that they were playing pension accounting games? /snark

The PBGC is the US agency that takes over pensions once it's clear they've screwed the pooch.  (It's analogous to bank failures: The FDIC steps in.)  The part that's not analogous is there is no 100% guarantee like banks.

BTW, it's probably a good guess that many other pensions are going to fail in the future.


Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:00:27 PM
re: Nortel/Cisco Updates

Thanks, Stevery. We've posted part of the release on our news wires as well, so folks can see the headline on the front page.

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