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Narad restructuring results in 40 percent layoff

Mon, 03/17/2003 - 7:00pm
Jeff Baumgartner

Citing slower-than-anticipated adoption of its technology by cable MSOs last year, Narad Networks Inc. has moved ahead on a restructuring plan that will result in the laying off of about 40 percent of its workforce.

Narad, whose technology helps cable operators offer services to medium-sized businesses over their existing HFC networks, will employ about 50 workers following the layoff. A company spokeswoman said the cuts did not impact any one particular area of the company.

Narad isn't the only company to feel the sting of slow rollouts and lowered capital spending by operators that are still mulling whether to move ahead with commercial services that target mid-sized businesses. Jedai Broadband Networks, as one example, initiated similar layoffs during the second half of 2002.

The restructuring at Westford, Mass.-based Narad comes in the wake of a few changes at the executive level. Earlier this month, Narad announced that founder and CEO Dev Gupta would become chairman of the company, and that company CFO Craig Dynes would step in to take over CEO duties at Narad. The company also promoted Vice President of Marketing Chuck Kaplan to chief operating officer.

Though 2002 was not the year that Narad had hoped it would be, the company is confident that 2003 will be a brighter one as it shifts from the research and development phase to the trial and deployment stage.

On March 3, Narad announced its first cable field trial. Narad, in conjunction with partner Synclayer Inc., said Japan-based MSO StarCat Cable Network was testing Narad's equipment in the field to deliver high-speed data and video streams to a number of businesses.

Narad is also in field trials with two unnamed North American MSOs and with one operator in Europe, a company spokeswoman said.

On the financial front, Narad is also in the process of securing an undetermined amount of additional funding. Narad raised $16.5 million in November 2002, and generated another $64 million in early 2001.

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