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Posts from June 2007

Om Spreading Rumors About SunRocket-UPDATED-Sounds Like He's Right

Om is not usually a gossip, and his sources are usually very accurate, so his report about SunRocket may be very credible.

I've never been a fan of SunRocket. Don't ask me why, but it came from my gut. Maybe it was the too good to be true pricing model. Maybe it was their "we're better" attitude. Maybe it was affirmed when their very good PR person, Brian Lustig "left" a few months ago. In VOIP he blew away what Vonage had/still has to speak for them and was right up with Earthlink's Carla Shaw who is always helpful to me.

UPDATE-What's sad is SunRocket's new product team was very sharp, Rob Chandhok and Jeremy James, are ex-Qualcomm guys, and my friends at Q said amazing things about the duo, so I had hoped they were not caught up in this. A source updated me overnight and said that "Chandhok was cut as Chief Product Officer for being an ineffective leader" and that "James had left in the last month or so."

This inside source also tells me via a private email that "Om is right on: forty-plus (25% of the staff) were laid off from SunRocket yesterday (Friday). The CTO, CIO, CFO, and CPO were axed too. As far as I know, the only C-levels still there are CEO and CMO. The whole San Diego product team was cut."

I sense that the "airpocket" Om describes is likely more to do with VC's not seeing the value in VoIP due to Vonage's failings.

So the big question I have is if SR goes sideways, or worse, and you ported your phone number to them, how do you get it back..

To me this looks like one more win for the "cable guys" if they, Sun Rocket, end up down and out.

Analysis/Speculation--This was done on the Friday that is leading up to the July 4th holiday. In PR the rule of thumb is you put out bad news on a Friday and hope it will get lost. With the blogosphere, it doesn't. The news is out, thanks to Om.

Second, the impact of this could be due to a pending sale of the company, and that many of the jobs were viewed as duplicated by the new suitors who may already have the same staff on hand-CTO, CIO, CFO, CPO, and others in the product and management group. So by chopping this group before the acquisition, the buyer doesn't have to pay their salaries of later, terminate them and have it impact things like unemployment taxes. The possibility of a pending sales or merger comes to mind because a company like SunRocket can't function without those level executives for too long, so either the new money said "can them" or in order to attract new money and CEO Lisa Hook had to bite the bullet by taking some drastic action to keep the company running in order for what's next to possibly come SunRocket's way. Losing 25 percent of a staff is hard. Cutting the high cost part of the budget helps reduce burn, but who is there to keep things running?