Sources expect Juniper‘s upcoming restructuring to cut 8 to 10 percent of the employee base, and the general perception inside and outside of the company is that the action is imminent.
One outside source I’ve talk to has pegged the number at 800 people, which would be about 8 percent. Other sources are consistently hearing a 10 percent figure; the difference could be just roundoff.
Juniper employed 9,483 as of Dec. 31, according to an SEC filing.
Cuts of 8 to 10 percent would match what most people had in mind when new CEO Shaygan Kheradpir first mentioned restructuring, I think. The bigger question is which parts of Juniper get trimmed the most.
Most sources are describing the cuts as across-the-board, with the exception of the service provider business. That’s going to be the heart of the new Juniper — the company going back to its roots, essentially — and it would make sense for Juniper to protect that part of the company. Kheradpir has already expressed an interest in high-end data-center business as well.
Security and especially enterprise switching could be on the bubble, though. Both are often called out as underperforming. Hedge funds Elliott Management and Jana Partners have been dogging Juniper to reconsider or at least restructure both businesses.
One interesting snippet from one source is that Juniper might take this occasion to do away with Trapeze Networks, the wireless LAN vendor that Juniper acquired for $152 million late in 2010. I have to admit, I’d forgotten about that acquisition. (“Exactly,” was the source’s response.)
Trapeze accounts for about $10 million in revenue per year, the source estimated. That’s a blip in Juniper’s 2013 revenues of $4.7 billion but still large enough to make downsizing uncomfortable.
Analysts agree that Kheradpir has fired up the Juniper employee base, and he made a favorable impression at Mobile World Congress. I’ve heard a couple of dissenting opinions, though, saying that employees are in the predictable layoff mode, fretting about what’s going to happen while still trying to go about their daily jobs. Both are probably true to varying degrees. We’ll find out soon enough how drastically Kheradpir thinks Juniper needs to change.