Local layoffs hit UC vendor Fuze in global restructure

Local layoffs hit UC vendor Fuze in global restructure

Around 10 casualties, including the company’s local channel chief

Credit: Dreamstime

The local branch of Fuze has become the latest vendor to be hit by a global restructure, as more people are left jobless in the local tech industry just before Christmas.

Around 10 people, mostly from the sales team, have been let go from the unified communications company’s Sydney office, sources claim. 

It is understood that, among these, director of channel sales in A/NZ Chris Apthorpe, who only took over the role at the beginning of the year, has also been affected.

Fuze first launched in the Australian market in May 2016 under the leadership of then A/NZ area vice-president Charlie Cote, who has since moved on, 

Today, the vendor is run by A/NZ director of sales and operations Andrew Amos and is understood to have grown its headcount to around 45 people as of this year, with plans to almost double that over the coming year.

"We are committed to the region and continue to have local services to support our customers," a spokesperson for the company told ARN.

News of the local layoffs come as new Fuze CEO Brian Day announces a new direction for the company that sees it focusing predominantly on the enterprise end of the market. 

“Moving forward, Fuze is aligning its business to operationalise its focus on the enterprise market,” Day said in a statement. “Fuze is further committing to the high-growth opportunity of providing comprehensive cloud-based communications solutions to complex enterprise-level organisations. 

“Drawing upon our proven expertise delivering complex, multinational deployments of communications solutions, Fuze will focus exclusively on enterprise solutions to capitalise on high market demand for UCaaS [unified communications-as-a-service] solutions that can connect increasingly remote, distributed workforces via a single and user-friendly platform. 

“Entering this new phase for the company will enhance Fuze’s ability to provide innovative cloud-based communications solutions to its customers across the globe,” he said.

Day, who was formerly Fuze’s CFO, was named as its new CEO on 10 December, following a decision by the company’s board that it was an “optimal” moment for Fuze to transfer leadership. 

As part of the changes, Rob Scudiere was named president and chief operating officer, while Tom Siegel, a four year veteran of Fuze, has been appointed chief sales officer. 

The layoffs come as video conferencing vendor BlueJeans Network closes its Australian office in a global restructure that will see 40 per cent of its workforce laid off.

The decision has led to 10 local lay-offs, with Sydney and Melbourne staff understood to have been given two days’ notice before the intended closure on 6 December, sources indicated.

The lay-offs at BlueJeans came just weeks after “huge numbers” of staff across Australia were laid off at cyber security vendor Symantec in the lead-up to Christmas. 

ARN understands from sources that “huge numbers” of staff across Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong, at least, marked their final day at the cyber security vendor in late November, just weeks before the Christmas holidays. 

The retrenchments were part of a worldwide sweep of redundancies following the acquisition of Symantec by Broadcom, with up to seven per cent of the global workforce axed.

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