3Com sets up units focused on business customers

In an effort to better serve its customers' networking needs and put the company on sounder financial footing, 3Com Corp. on Monday said it will restructure its commercial business into two independent units.

The change is aimed at driving profitability and growth of 3Com, which has been facing financial troubles in recent months. In late March, the company showed a pro forma net loss of US$122.8 million and shut down its Net Appliance business unit. The Santa Clara, California-based company also laid off 170 employees in its consumer broadband unit in March and another 1,200 employees in late February. 3Com will establish the 3Com Business Connectivity Company and the 3Com Business Networking Company as of June 4, the start of the company's fiscal year, the company said in a statement. In total, 3Com will have three business with its CommWorks Corp., which builds IP (Internet Protocol) networks for network service providers.

The new Business Connectivity Company will focus on business customers that are served by the PC resellers, distributors and other channel partners with connectivity products for desktop, mobile and server PCs, the company said. Dennis Connors will be president of the 3Com Business Connectivity Company. He currently serves as 3Com's senior vice president of E-Business and Information Technology, 3Com said.

Meanwhile, the 3Com Business Networking Company will serve all sizes of business with LAN (local area network) switching, wireless infrastructure and IP PBX (private branch exchange) voice technology. The unit will be led by John McClelland, who currently serves as 3Com's senior vice president of operations.

3Com said the new business units will be smaller, more agile and able to better serve their customers. The units also will be able to pursue more aggressive strategies and deliver products for customers more quickly, the company said.

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