Arris Group closing in on BigBand Networks acquisition, layoffs in the offing?


Arris Group is closing its $53 million acquisition of BigBand Networks, with plans to "optimise the cost structure consistent with current sales levels" at BigBand.

And while no formal personnel-related announcements have been made, BigBand's founders, president and CEO Amir Bassan-Eskenazi and Ran Oz, will soon step down, likely to be followed by layoffs, according to unconfirmed reports.

Arris did say that it plans to slash $7 million in quarterly opex by the third quarter of 2012, with the bulk of the savings coming in Q1, leading speculators to assume that headcount reductions will be part of that as Arris integrates the smaller company into its organisation.
However, Bassan-Eskenazi wrote a letter to BigBand employees saying that Arris plans to keep all of BigBand's locations, existing products "and all of our roadmap commitments," indicating that changes will be gradual and incremental. Cablevision Systems, Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable and Verizon Communications are all BigBand customers.

Stan Brovont, senior vice president of marketing at Arris, told Multichannel News that Arris has asked "a lot of the BigBand people to stay with us for the next several weeks and months," noting that "there will be an orderly transition period."

Bassan-Eskenazi had previously announced he expected to leave Arris after the deal closed, but is aiding in the transition process. Meanwhile, Rajive Dhar, BigBand senior vice president of corporate development and strategic planning, will become vice president and general manager of the BigBand products division, which will include the widely deployed switched digital video platform, and IPTV, video-processing and advanced advertising platforms.

"We are pleased to announce the close of our acquisition of BigBand and welcome the talented professionals joining Arris around the world," Arris chairman and CEO Bob Stanzione said in a statement. "The acquisition supports our strategy of expanding our video product suite and investing in the evolution towards network convergence on an all-IP platform. This expanded portfolio and access to new market channels will provide greater opportunities to grow our customer base worldwide."

Source: Rapid TV News