It's not an easy time to be a provider of wired and wireless network infrastructure. Actually, let's be honest -- it's not an easy time to be in most any line of work -- but the infrastructure guys are having a particularly tough time right now, and it's definitely showing in Alcatel-Lucent's latest unfortunate move. The Paris-based company is trimming a grand worth of heads out of its 75,000-plus workforce and culling some 5,000 contractors, a move that it hopes will stop a cash hemorrhage that's been persistent since Alcatel's purchase of Lucent in 2006. The embattled CEO already stepped down earlier this year in a quest for profitability in a desperately brutal economy, so it stands to reason that there'll be some belt-tightening down below until they can right the ship -- but it's always sad to see the parent company of what remains of Bell Labs struggle to keep its head above water.

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