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Each of the five companies to be created by the splitup of

ECI Telecom


will allocate 15% of its stock to its workers, CEO Doron Inbar told


Inbar adds that the incentive plan is meant to keep workers in the manpower-hungry high-tech market.

Fears have been percolating about layoffs as the company reorganizes. Inbar says he is not surprised.

"There may be some unrest in the Petah Tikvah plant. But the plant's management is about to turn it into an independent company, which will produce for the group and for others, and workers will own part of the new company," says Inbar.

The most popular departments among workers these days are


, which has been incorporated as an independent company, and the cross-connect unit. Workers believe that these two units will be the first to go public on Wall Street, probably next year.

ECI's optical networks products unit is also popular. But workers in other units, particularly


, are fretting about their future. One of DCME's senior executives, Tzvika Friedman, has already left to become deputy CEO at

Floware Wireless Systems

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A few days ago

reported that among venture capital funds, ECI has is noted as Israel's leading producer of business plans filed by workers hoping to hop away and found a startup.

"Sometimes it looks like all they do on ECI's computers is write business plans," said a leading venture capital executive, tattling on condition of anonymity. VC funds are obligated to keep the business plans they receive and their writers in strict confidence.

Other Israeli high-tech companies are doing the same thing. Companies launching in-house startups include

Comverse Technology


, within which dozens of startups have been founded,


(ORBK) - Get Orbotech Ltd. Report

, which announced the opening of a business incubator within the company, and


(OBAS) - Get Optibase Ltd. Report

, which helped its CEO to found a startup within the company.

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