August 12, 2011

Recruiters Circle Cisco Like Sharks Amid Job Cuts, By Joseph Walker

Recruiters Circle Cisco Like Sharks Amid Job Cuts

By Joseph Walker

Cisco Systems Inc.’s announcement last month that it would lay off 6,500 workers from its global work force was welcome news to technology recruiters, who say it’s an opportunity to poach top employees uncertain of the company’s future, Fins.com reported Wednesday.

“It’s simply blood in the water,” said Jeff Winter, founder of GravityPeople, a San Francisco-based technology recruiting firm. “There are recruiters that will immediately start calling Cisco, soliciting their engineers and inciting fear that Cisco’s on its way out.”

Brocade Communications Systems, Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based networking company and Cisco competitor, has seen a larger influx of resumes from Cisco employees in the last two months, director of global talent acquisition Brian Pototo told Fins.com.

“They’re not necessarily cutting their top performers,” Pototo said. But “it does create that uncertainty among the people who are the top performers. You might be able to shake them loose.”

Mike Sienkowski, president of Sausalito, Calif.-based tech recruiting firm BirdDog, Inc., said that he’s also had more Cisco employees contact his firm or respond to job openings recently. While he expects that most of those laid off will be underperformers, he sees an opportunity to poach more highly coveted employees at the company.

“The people I’m after, Cisco keeps close and watches very closely, but they’re more susceptible to my calls now,” Sienkowski said.

Cisco said last month the layoffs would include about 15% of the company’s executive staff, from the vice president level and up. Sienkowski doesn’t think that most companies will be eager to hire former Cisco executives. “They’re probably very expensive dead weight,” he said.

Other companies that may look to recruit from Cisco include Juniper Networks Inc. and NVIDIA Corp., said Alan Shapiro, a principal at Technology Search International, a San Jose, Cailf.-based recruiting firm.

Of the 6,500 job reductions, about 2,100 will come from an employee buyout program. The company’s second quarter earnings announcement included $453 million in charges for a voluntary early retirement program and $214 million for employee severance, as well as other charges,

Two recruiters who interact with Cisco employees said the early retirement package was available to those whose age plus years of service at Cisco equaled 60 or more. That aligns with an internal memo circulating on the Internet. Cisco declined to comment for this article or on the specifics of its buyout program.

For one senior director-level Cisco employee who took a buyout after 15 years at the company, Cisco’s downsizing was a blessing in disguise, said Rob Reeves, president of Redfish Technology, Inc., a technology recruiting firm with an office in Silicon Valley that is helping the employee look for his next job.

“It was a golden handcuffs situation,” said Reeves. “Other companies wouldn’t pay him what Cisco would pay him, but at the same time he was being under- utilized in his role at Cisco…he was plateaued in his career.”

The former Cisco employee is currently in late-stage job talks with several companies, Reeves said.

Because of Cisco’s large size — it currently has 71,825 employees — it will be difficult to make sure that only dead weight is laid off, Shapiro said.

“I wonder if Cisco upper management has actually taken a look at the resumes of the people they’re laying off, because if you’re laying off that many people, you’re putting a lot of talent on the street that could compete directly or indirectly with Cisco,” Shapiro said.

-By Joseph Walker, FINS.COM; Joseph.Walker@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires 08-10-111858ET Copyright (c) 2011 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110810-721081.html

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March 30, 2011

Information Technology Trends: Hot Companies, VC Bets

Information Technology Trends
Hot Companies, VC Bets

Yesteryear’s top bets

VentureBeat’s top 10 VCs in 2010 included hot companies Twitter, Zynga, and Groupon. This creamy top ten included only one non-web/digital-media company: Boston-Power, maker of EV and Grid lithium-ion batteries.

Software was the single biggest benefactor in 2010 according to The PwC MoneyTreeTM Report Q4 2010/Full-year 2010. Life Sciences (biotech and medical devices) took nearly 1/3rd of the VC market. CleanTech grew significantly taking with five of the top ten deals in 2010 attracting 17% of VC dollars; the same percentage was invested in internet-based companies.

IT Services, Tele¬communications, and Media & Entertainment all saw big dollar increases in 2010 as venture capital investment rises for the first time since 2007.

This year’s top 50

2011’s Wall Street Journal’s most likely to succeed US-based VC-funded companies shows a similar bent. The second annual “Top 50 Venture-Backed Companies” picks are based on the capital raised, the experience and track record of the talent and investors, and have a valuation of $1b or less. The winners are in Information Technology (23 out of 50), Business & Financial Services (12), Health Care (8), and Consumer Services (6). (more…)

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October 6, 2010

Green Job Trends . . . Three Million Green Jobs!

Green Job Trends

Three Million Jobs and Counting!

You have got to love it! And you’ve got to read the new Clean Tech Job Trends 2010  report just released by Clean Edge and The SJF Institute. This month in our look at Green Job Trends, we focus on the new CleanEdge report. Here are some of the highlights from our perspective:

Top Jobs Sectors

The top five sectors for clean-tech job activity in the U.S. are solar power; biofuels and biomaterials; smart grid and energy efficiency; wind energy; and, new to the list this year, advanced transportation/vehicles.

Top Locations

The Top 15 metropolitan areas for clean-tech job seekers in the U.S. were little surprise based on where we do most of our work in green job placements. 

  1. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA
  2. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, CA
  3. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH (more…)
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