Nortel appoints top execs

Leading carrier and enterprise networks vendor Nortel has revamped its top level management, including creating the position of chief ethics and compliance officer, in a bid to put recent financial troubles behind it.

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By  Simon Duddy Published  March 5, 2005

Nortel Networks has made senior management changes designed to strengthen the company’s leadership team, drive global operational excellence and position Nortel for the future. It includes the creation of the role of chief ethics and compliance officer to repair some of the damage done to the company’s credibility through financial mismanagement. Bill Owens will become the vice chairman and CEO and Gary Daichendt will take over as president and chief operating officer (COO) reporting to Owens. Peter Currie, who was recently appointed chief financial officer (CFO), will become executive vice president. All appointments are effective from March 14, 2005. “We are playing to win,” say Owens. “And Gary will play a critical role in our doing so. He is a world class leader with unquestioned integrity and one of the top technology executives in the world. Gary’s deep involvement in the spectacular growth of some of the world’s leading technology powerhouses and his unique track record have given him a special perspective and experience that will optimally position our great Company for our customers, shareholders and employees. All of us at Nortel are very pleased with his decision to join us,” he adds. In his new role Daichendt will be responsible for leading Nortel’s carrier and enterprise businesses, research and development, services and supply chain functions and global sales and operations. In addition to Daichendt, the Company’s senior strategy team including the executive vice president and CFO, chief legal officer and chief strategy officer will continue to report directly to Owens. Daichendt’s appointment is the latest in a series of senior management additions to the Nortel leadership team made by Owens over the past several months. These recent appointments have included the new roles of chief marketing officer, chief strategy officer and chief ethics and compliance officer. Pascal Debon, currently president, Carrier Networks, will assume the role of special advisor to the vice chairman and CEO effective March 14, 2005. The appointments follow a tumultuous period for the company, in which it had to restate its financial results for the 2001, 2002 and 2003 fiscal years. The moves are seen as the latest attempt to restore credibility with customers, business partners and investors. The financial misconduct that prompted the restatements resulted in the firing of 10 Nortel executives, including CEO Frank Dunn.

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