Nortel Bigwigs Miss User Conference

Attendees of the Nortel Carrier Inform conference say executives were noticeable by their absence

May 17, 2004

1 Min Read
Nortel Bigwigs Miss User Conference

Carriers attending the Nortel Networks Ltd. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) Carrier Inform 2004 User Group Conference last week in Miami say the equipment vendor may have missed an opportunity to soothe some troubled souls.

No high-level executives from Nortel took the podium in person, and the company completely avoided addressing its current financial scandal, according to attendees of the invitation-only event, who spoke on condition of anonymity. That could be construed as a misstep, given that more than 600 were in attendance, representing more than 200 carrier customers.

Only one major Nortel brass made some kind of appearance; Sue Spradley, president of Nortel's wireline networks group, gave a talk via video uplink, sources say. The opening keynote was delivered by Eric J. Bruno, VP of product & portfolio management, for Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) enterprise solutions group.

In 2003, Nortel bigwigs on site included Marco Pagani, president of Nortel's optical Ethernet storage solutions and optical marketing groups; Steve Elliott, CTO of Nortel's VOIP and wireline networks groups; Louis-Rene Pare, VP of product management and network architecture, optical networking; and David Hudson, the company's carrier data strategy and technology leader for its wireline networks.

More troubling, say attendees, is that the company didn't address issues related to the firing of its CEO and other executives. Nor did it delve into why it is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Ontario Securities Commission. On Friday, the soup thickened on the scandal front as Nortel announced that it received a Federal Grand Jury subpoena related to its financial restatements (see Nortel Gets Federal Subpoena).Nortel did not respond to requests for comment on Friday.

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

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