Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Motorola Sues Former Exec Mike Zafirovski, Nortel's New CEO

Motorola filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois against Mike Zafirovski, who was recently appointed as president and chief executive officer of Nortel effective November 15.

Zafirovski (51) most recently served as president and chief operating officer of Motorola (2002 to 2005). He joined Motorola in 2000 as president and CEO of its Personal Communications Sector division. From 1975 to 2000, Zafirovski held a succession of executive positions at General Electric's key divisions: president and CEO, GE Lighting; president, GE Capital Mortgage Corporation; and president and CEO, GE Capital Fleet Services.

The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that Zafirovski, who resigned earlier this year as Motorola's president and chief operating officer, has breached various agreements with Motorola by accepting this position with Nortel and that this position with Nortel will inevitably result in the use or disclosure of Motorola's trade secrets. The lawsuit seeks, among other relief, an injunction to enjoin Zafirovski from rendering services to Nortel for two years, from soliciting or hiring Motorola employees, and from utilizing or disclosing Motorola's confidential information. The lawsuit does not name Nortel as a defendant, but the injunctive relief requested is against Zafirovski and his employers, among others.

In a statement, Nortel said it intends to pursue discussions with Motorola with a view to resolving the dispute over Zafirovski's appointment.