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JDS Uniphase Corporation
S&P 500 component
Industry Optical products and broadband communications
  • JDS Fitel
  • Uniphase Corporation (1999)
Headquarters Milpitas, California, USA[1]
Number of locations
80 offices, serving customers in more than 160 countries
Key people
Thomas H. Waechter[1]
(CEO, President and Director)
David W. Vellequette
  • Communications test and measurement equipment; optical communications components, modules, and subsystems.
  • Lasers used for biotechnology, semiconductor manufacturing, and materials processing.
  • Thin film coatings, components, and assemblies used to manage light for displays, instrumentation, office automation, and aerospace/defense.
  • Optical solutions for brand protection and document authentication; and decorative coatings for brand enhancement and differentiation
Revenue Decrease US$ 1.709 billion (2015)[2]
Decrease US$ -88.1 million (2015)[2]
Decrease US$ -88.1 million (2015)[2]
Total assets Decrease US$ 2.218 billion (2015)[2]
Total equity Decrease US$ 1.101 billion (2015)[2]
Number of employees
5,100 (2015)[1]
Website JDSU.com

JDS Uniphase Corporation was a company that designed and manufactured products for optical communications networks, communications test and measurement equipment, lasers, optical solutions for authentication and decorative applications, and other custom optics. It was headquartered in Milpitas, California. It was formerly known as JDS Uniphase, prior to a rebranding of its corporate image on September 14, 2005. The legal entity was called JDS Uniphase Corporation, but more commonly called JDSU. On August 2015, JDSU split into two different companies: Viavi Solutions and Lumentum.


Uniphase was started in 1979 in a San Jose, California garage, and made lasers for chip makers and scanners.[3]

In 1981, JDS Optics was founded in Canada by Jozef Straus, Philip Garel-Jones, Gary Duck, and Bill Sinclair. The "JDS" is short for Jones, Duck and Straus/Sinclair.[4] The company became JDS Fitel when it formed a partnership with Fitel, a fiber optic and optical connector company.[5]

In 1999, JDSU was formed by the merger between JDS Fitel and Uniphase,[6] and became known as JDS Uniphase subsequent to the merger.[7]

Three other major fiber companies were acquired by JDS Uniphase during the telecom boom: Optical Coating Laboratory Inc. (OCLI), bought for $2.8 billion and based in Santa Rosa, California,[8] E-TEK Dynamics, bought for $15 billion, and SDL, bought for $45 billion, both based in San Jose, California.[9]

In 2003, CEO Straus retired and the company moved its headquarters to San Jose, California, to consolidate its business.[10] In 2006, the company moved its headquarters to Milpitas, California.[citation needed]

In 2006, the company moved its headquarters to Milpitas, California.[citation needed]

In December 2013, the company announced it was acquiring fellow network performance management company Network Instruments, for $200 million.[11]

On August 1, 2015 JDSU split into Viavi Solutions and Lumentum Holdings Inc.[12]


During the 1990s, JDS Uniphase stock was a high-flyer tech stock investor favorite. Its stock price doubled three times and three stock splits of 2:1 occurred roughly every 90 days during the last half of 1999 through early 2000, making millionaires of many employees who were stock option holders, and further enabling JDS Uniphase to go on an acquisition and merger binge. After the telecom downturn, JDS Uniphase announced in late July 2001 the largest (up to then) write-down of goodwill. Employment soon dropped as part of the Global Realignment Program from nearly 29,000 to approximately 5,300, many of its factories and facilities were closed around the world, and the stock price dropped from $153 per share to less than $2 per share.

On September 23, 2005, JDSU announced a reverse stock split one-to-eight.[13]

Shareholder litigation[edit]

After the 2001 crash of the telecommunications industry, the state of Connecticut filed a lawsuit against the company and four key executives, claiming that they had misled and hid from company shareholders advance knowledge of the company's impending downturn. Unlike most similar lawsuits, which are dismissed or settled before trial, Connecticut's lawsuit went to trial in October, 2007. JDSU was acquitted of all charges in November, 2007.[14]


  1. ^ a b c "More On JDSU; Profile". Yahoo! Finance. July 1, 2011. Retrieved March 18, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "FY11 Form 10-K". Viavi Solutions Inc. 2015-08-25. Retrieved 2016-10-13. 
  3. ^ Malik, Om (2003-05-30). Broadbandits: Inside the $750 Billion Telecom Heist. John Wiley & Sons. p. 284. ISBN 0471434051. 
  4. ^ "THE SPEED OF LIGHT". theglobeandmail.com. 2009-03-21. Retrieved 2016-10-13. 
  5. ^ "What's new with JDSU in Ottawa?". obj.ca. 2013-05-03. Retrieved 2016-10-13. 
  6. ^ "Uniphase and JDS Fitel Agree to Merge". nytimes.com. 1999-01-29. Retrieved 2016-10-13. 
  7. ^ "JDS Fitel merges with U.S. company". cbc.ca. 1999-01-29. Retrieved 2016-10-13. 
  8. ^ "Evolving JDS Uniphase to acquire OCLI". laserfocusworld.com. 1999-11-15. Retrieved 2016-10-13. 
  9. ^ "Gorilla In the Midst JDS Uniphase is poised to become king of the fiber-optics jungle. Is it too late to swing along?". fortune.com. 2000-08-14. Retrieved 2016-10-13. 
  10. ^ "JDS to shut Ottawa HQ as Straus departs". theglobeandmail.com. 2003-08-22. Retrieved 2016-10-13. 
  11. ^ "JDSU Acquires Network Instruments". lightreading.com. 2013-12-11. Retrieved 2016-10-13. 
  12. ^ "Viavi Solutions, Lumentum begin life as JDSU is no more". lightwaveonline.com. 2013-08-03. Retrieved 2016-10-13. 
  13. ^ "JDS Uniphase stock: Just walk on by". usatoday.com. 2010-08-26. Retrieved 2016-10-13. 
  14. ^ Chris O'Brien (November 27, 2007). "Jury clears former JDSU execs". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2016-10-13. 

Litigation references[edit]

  • Dan Levine. "JDS Uniphase Scores a Win in Securities Case," Law.com, November 28, 2007
  • Kevin M. Lacroix. “Defense Verdict in JDSU Securities Trial,” The D&O Diary, November 27, 2007
  • Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse, November 2007, [1]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°26′11″N 121°55′23″W / 37.4365°N 121.923°W / 37.4365; -121.923