JDSU to Cut 33 Percent of Its Workforce

JDSU (s JDSU), an optical component and test equipment company that once commanded a megabillion-dollar market capitalization (which earned them a place in my book, “Broadbandits”), has fallen on hard times. Despite growing demand for bandwidth and connectivity, JDSU, like many of its peers, has been skating on thin ice. A sharp downturn in demand from the communications sector saw the company miss its second-quarter fiscal 2009 revenue target by six percent; it reported sales of $357 million vs. consensus estimates of $372 million. The company is going to see even further shrinkage, saying it expects revenue for the quarter ending March 28, 2009 to range from $275-$300 million. In order to survive, JDSU needs to make some drastic moves. It’s palming off a factory in China to contract manufacturer Sanmina-SCI. In doing so, JDSU get to slash 2,200 jobs, about a third of its entire employee base, according to RBC Capital Markets’ Mark Sue. About 2,000 of those folks are going to be now working for Sanmina-SCI, doing precisely what they were doing except will not be paid by JDSU. “Another 150 employees ¬†will remain JDSU employees and will focus on corporate functions and product development in the region.¬†Sanmina-SCI will use the same equipment, the same lines, the same people and the same processes as when the fab was under JDSU ownership to support JDSU customers,” a company spokesperson tells us.

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Synaptics Adds More Multi-Touch Gestures, All of Them Still Polite

Synaptics gestures

Synaptics gestures

News from Synaptics this morning is making all of the mouse vendors scurry away in sadness. Synaptics Gestures Suite 2009 is here and with it comes more productivity-enhancing multi-touch gestures and support for larger PC trackpads. Here’s a run-down of the gestures in the Suite:

  • Two-Finger Scrolling: It’s one of the features that I’m so used to on a Mac, that I often do it without thinking on PC, simply out of reflex.
  • Two-Finger Rotate: photos or pages in what Synaptics calls the “most common photo and document applications”. They specifically name Windows Photo Gallery and Adobe.
  • Two-Finger Pinch Zoom: You pinch, it zooms. ‘k?
  • Three-Finger Flick: Flick right for next and left for previous, which is very handy when surfing the web. Flicking up starts or plays, while down stops or ends: might be useful for media, no?

And about that support for larger touchpads: Synaptics says they have a new hardware pattern which supports an area up to 5.8-inches in diameter. Clearly we won’t be seeing them make use of that on a netbook unless we drop the keyboard altogether, but for your 13-inch and up notebooks, you might see a larger sweet spot in 2009.

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Nortel Cuts: Layoffs Come to Telco Land

NortelUpdated with information about Nortel cuts: Big job cuts are not just for startups. The grim reaper has started to take its tool on the telecom ecosystem. We have already reported about the job cuts at Nokia (600) and Motorola (3,000) and Nortel is likely to cut about 10 percent of its work force. The malaise has started to spread to component makers. For instance, JDSU cut 400 jobs, shut down seven R&D centers and three plants. Anadigics, a Warren, N.J.-based broadband wireless and wireline chip maker cut 15 percent of its work force. ST-NXP Wireless has cut its workforce by 500. Elsewhere Freescale and Verio also made some cuts. All these companies are reacting to the broader market declines and slowing demand from consumers. Vodafone, one of world’s largest telecom operators, is looking to cut jobs soon. Read More about Nortel Cuts: Layoffs Come to Telco Land

Former JDSU CEO Pops Up at Avaya

Kevin Kennedey who yesterday resigned his position as CEO and president of teleco equipment maker JDS Uniphase, was named CEO and president of Avaya Inc. this morning. Kennedy will replace Avaya’s Interim CEO Charles Giancarlo, who will step up to the role of chairman at the telephone equipment maker.