Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Dark days for a former telecom chief

Dark days for a former telecom chief

ITF Technologies, a former head of the telecommunications industry, is conducting a fourth consecutive round of layoffs at its facilities in the borough of Saint-Laurent in Montreal. The company came into limelight for national security reasons when it came under Chinese control in 2014. Now it is looking for a buyer.

Posted at 8:00 am.

Andre Dubucci

Andre Dubucci

ITF manufactures photonics components, subsystems and modules, including multiplexers and lasers.

Since last February, it has announced the sacking of 84 of its employees. The last round is August 22. Incorporated Thursday, the company did not want to comment on its status or its sale.

It’s quite a turnaround for a company considered a gem from Nortel’s glory years. It was then able to develop sought-after technologies, which worried Canadian officials when the ITF was sold to the Chinese.

“National security agencies – including the Canadian Security Intelligence Service – ruled in 2015 that the ITF’s acquisition of O-Net would ‘undermine Western forces’ technological advantage over China. Colleague Maxim Bergeron in March 2017.

ITF is a spin-off of Polytechnique Montreal, founded by Eric Geoffrian and François Gonthier. It already has several hundred employees, including several doctoral holders.

In the early 2000s, it received funding from Investments Quebec, and all hope was allowed.

The ITF has “the passport of the future and thus participates in the real transformation of the Quebec economy”, said Lucien Bouchard, the former prime minister at the time.

Today, a government source not authorized to speak publicly indicates that the company has not sought help from Quebec. In Investiture Quebec, it is indicated that there is no active file relating to the ITF.

Joined electronically, co-founder François Gonthier confirmed the sale of his former child, but declined to say more, being bound by a confidentiality agreement.

An employee and a former ITF employee also told press that the Montreal Company was put up for sale.

“ITF Technologies, in Saint-Laurent, is for sale. It must happen soon or else it will be closed,” said one of them. He requested anonymity, while with the company.

“The morale of the soldiers is not strong, says a former employee who left the ship in 2022. Employees are unsafe. They don’t know what’s coming for them. Four project leaders left this year. He doesn’t want to be recognized, so it doesn’t bother him, now he’s working for a contestant.

According to him, the ITF had 300 employees by the end of April. But since then, the company has moved laser production to Thailand, so the Montreal plant is undergoing frequent layoffs.

The turbulent history of an innovative company

nineteen ninety eight : Foundation of ITF Optical Technologies, designer and manufacturer of optical components

2006 : Avensis acquired ITF Optical Technologies.

2009 : French 3S Photonics (3SP) acquired Avensis and ITF.

2014 : China’s O-Net Communications has acquired Avensis Inc. and acquired ITF Labs, which were part of the 3SP Group. Avensis merges with ITF Labs to form ITF Technologies.

2015 : Stephen Harper’s government is blocking the deal, saying the acquisition could threaten Canada’s national security.

2017 : Trudeau government authorizes sale of ITF to O-Net.

2022: As per our information the company is laying off around 90 people and business is going on in the market.

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