Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mike Zafirovski Steps Down as Nortel's CEO

Mike Zafirovski has stepped down as President and CEO of Nortel, saying that the company has reached natural transition point for a change in leadership to occur. Nortel's Board of Directors has also decided to reduce its size from nine to three members: John A. MacNaughton, Jalynn H. Bennett and David Richardson, with Mr. Richardson serving as Chairperson.

"We have taken many steps. We have completed the organizational moves of Nortel's businesses to vertically integrated, standalone business units, and on June 19th, we announced that we would work to maximize value through the sale of these businesses.  We have sales agreements with Ericsson for US$1.13 billion regarding the CDMA/LTE Access business, including preserving 80 percent of the jobs associated with that business. We also have a stalking horse agreement for the sale of our Enterprise Solutions business and we are in active discussions for our other businesses.  The direction has been set and we are now at a natural transition point as we continue to service customers, maximize value through sales and continue restructuring activities," stated Mike Zafirovski.

"Mike came to Nortel to transform this company. He made great progress on many fronts including addressing significant accounting and related legal issues; improving the quality of Nortel products and the company's cost structure. His ambitious vision helped shift the economic center of the company from legacy to growth investments.  It was unfortunate the transformation was derailed by a deteriorating economic climate and the company's legacy cost structure. The operating improvements and strategic investments made during his tenure significantly contributed to the fact that Nortel's businesses are so attractive to potential buyers today," said Harry Pearce, Chairman of Nortel's Board of Directors.

Concurrent with today's announcement, Nortel is establishing a streamlined structure. The company's business units - Wireless Networks, Enterprise Solutions, Metro Ethernet Networks, Carrier VoIP and Application Solutions and the LG-Nortel joint venture - will report to the Chief Restructuring Officer, Pavi Binning.  The company's mergers and acquisitions teams will continue their work under the Chief Strategy Officer, George Riedel. Nortel Business Services (NBS) will continue to serve the transitional operations needs of Nortel businesses as they are sold to ensure customer and network service levels are maintained throughout the sale and integration processes.  NBS will continue to be led by Joe Flanagan.

  • Mike S. Zafirovski

    was selected to succeed Bill Owens as Nortel's president and CEO on November 15th, 2005. He previously 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.

  • In April 2004, Nortel Networks named William Owens as its new president and CEO, replacing Frank Dunn, who was dismissed "for cause." At the time, Nortel Networks also fired its former chief financial officer, Douglas Beatty, and former controller, Michael Gollogly, both of whom had been placed on paid leave of absence by Nortel Networks on 15-March-2004.

See also