At Nortel Networks Ltd. , new CEO Mike Zafirovski continues to stock his management team with General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) vets, so much so that Headcount wonders if Nortel will soon get confused and accidentally debut a line of stainless steel, 10-Gbit/s dishwashers and 3G-capable refrigerators. (See Zafirovski Adds Another GE Exec to Nortel and Nortel Appoints CPO.)
Seriously, though, the good ship Nortel has finally got some momentum to it. And those executives that were given the boot aren't hurting, either, apparently. According to SEC filings, Brian McFadden, Nortel's former chief research officer (or, the doorman, as we say here in the States) will keep drawing his base salary for two years and he'll get a lump sum payment for 10 weeks of unused vacation time.
Pascal "The Rascal" Debon, Nortel's former senior advisor, likewise is getting two years salary upon leaving the company. He'll also get a $295,000 lump sum payment on June 24 and "equal bi-weekly payments thereafter of $22,692 through and including December 28, 2007." Headcount wonders what sage advice Debon offered that could be worth so much after-the-fact scratch. Something like: "Don't leave Bill Owens alone with the Chinese?" (See Big Vendors Sidestep Merger Rumors and Nortel's Owens: Krazy About Korea.)
No. 2: More Huber Hubris
On Jan. 31, former Broadwing Communications LLC CEO David Huber signed a release and severance agreement with the carrier – and he resigned on Feb. 1. Is that guy's timing impeccable, or what? (See Broadwing Soars as Huber Goes.)
Now the details are out and Huber's parting gifts, according to the SEC filings, include "a severance payment of $400,000." His stock and restricted stock "are to immediately vest in full, and the stock option agreements are amended so that the options will remain exercisable for ten (10) years from the date of grant," the filings state. Broadwing will also pick up the tab for Huber's health benefits for 18 months, or until he's no longer on the company's board.
What will Huber do now? Headcount has no idea. But if he somehow orchestrated a three-way deal combining Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Sonus Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: SONS), and Broadwing, he would go down in history as the man who consolidated the three craziest groups of stockholders under one ticker symbol.
Could happen. You never know. Anything's possible when you're on a short leash.
No. 1: Lucent Finds a CFO
This week, Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) announced that John A. Kritzmacher, 45, has been picked as the company's new chief financial officer. He'll succeed Frank D'Amelio, who didn't go anywhere.
And we don't mean, "didn't go anywhere" in the Howard Hughes sense. He's not a recluse.
What we mean is D'Amelio still works at Lucent. He's been Lucent's chief operating officer since January.
Anyway, according to Lucent PR, Kritzmacher was the man behind the curtain during the company's financial recovery and restructuring efforts of the past few years. What will his next move be? An acquisition, perhaps?
Headcount has no commentary on Kritzmacher himself, for now. Rather it's his position we're always eyeing as one of the hottest seats in telecom. And we hope he weathers well against the long hours, complex business transitions, and Wall Street probing that's bound to welcome him to his new post.
As a welcoming gift, we've sent him two tickets to the "Lucent Sets Sail"-themed social cruise we're organizing for the company's pensioners. (See Headcount: More Deep Cuts.) Still not sure who his bunk mate'll be…
Finally, here's a summary of other industry appointments and disappointments from the past few days:
- C&W Stuns With Job & Customer Cuts
- Cisco Denies Optical Slowdown
- Sentito Appoints Vets
- Motive Names New CEO
- Capella Adds Execs
- Avici Downsizes to Survive
- Lucent Exec Pay Faces Proxy Vote
- Global Crossing Adds Sales Execs
- Global Crossing Strengthens Team
- Moto Shuts Next Level Facility
- Bell Canada Cuts 4,000 Jobs
- BTI Photonic Expands Board
- Oplink Chairman Departs
— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading