Industry offers ex-3Com staffers a helping hand

It is nice to know that when you are down and out, industry competitors are more than willing to lend a helping hand.

News of 3Com's radical restructure last week prompted words of condolences from its competitors Cabletron and Cisco, with Cabletron offering to employ the 11 sacked sales staff. 3Com announced on Tuesday the decision to retrench the staff in an effort to sharpen its focus on the carrier, SME and enterprise markets.

The new sales operation is now under the guidance of Ray Whitfield.

Ian Fewtrell, Cabletron Australia's managing director, was quick off the mark, calling Network World Today to offer the former 3Com staffers a job.

"That's Cabletron being magnanimous," he quipped.

Fewtrell reports his own business is growing well in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney and is looking for good sales people. "If they do want to talk my HR manager, that's a genuine offer," he said.

"I commiserate with Gerhard Rumpff [3Com's managing director]," Fewtrell continued. "If things are tough, it makes sense to reduce costs."

Gary Jackson, Cisco's managing director was more cautious when contacted by Network World Today.

"There are 11 pretty hurt people out there," he said. "I reckon if you get too smart-alecky with those kind of things, they can come around and bite you."

"I would say to Gerhard, my old mate, happy to have a drink and talk about strategies," Jackson continued.

"Maybe he should come to a Cisco planning day," he quipped.

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