McFadden, Spradley out at Nortel
Brian McFadden, the company's chief research officer, and Sue Spradley, its president of global services and operations, are leaving the company.
"Brian McFadden and Sue Spradley will be leaving Nortel. The company thanks them for their service and wishes them the best in their future endeavors," says a Nortel spokeswoman, when contacted by Light Reading on Tuesday afternoon.
McFadden, a 26-year Nortel veteran, became the company's chief technology officer in October 2004 and held that position until April 2005 when "the Cisco Garys" -- Gary Kunis and Gary Daichendt -- joined the company for three months of fun-filled infighting with Nortel's former CEO, Bill Owens. (See Nortel Changes CTO – Again and Nortel COO Resigns .) McFadden was unceremoniously dubbed Nortel's chief research officer, "a position no one's ever heard of," according to one former Nortel executive. But after the Cisco Garys left and new blood was pumped into the CEO's office, McFadden was never appointed back to his former role, so sources inside the company began to speculate that it'd only be a matter of time before he was shown the door.
During his tenure with Nortel, McFadden was president of the company's optical networks division, and, before that, president of its optical metro business. (See Don Smith Leaves Nortel, Nortel Unifies Optical, and McFadden In, Mumford Out as NT CTO). During his optical metro days, McFadden led the team that acquired Cambrian Systems in December 1998, one of Nortel's most famous M&A moves. (See Nortel Does a Metro Shuffle.)
Spradley, like McFadden, has been at Nortel for several years and has survived a multitude of executive shuffles -- each time landing close to the CEO's office. (See Nortel's Empty Room at the Top, Plastina Out in Nortel Reshuffle, and Nortel Reorganizes Again .)
Her previous titles include President of Wireline Networks and President of VOIP for Metro and Enterprise Networks. Spradley also was one of a handful of telecom executives picked to be on the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, which reports to the President. (See Nortel's Spradley Advises Prez.)
Spradley and McFadden are also among Nortel's core executive team that was caught up in former CEO Frank Dunn's return-to-profitability scandal -- a scheme which led to his ouster. According to SEC filings, McFadden repaid Nortel $899,630 Canadian and Spradley repaid $967,694 US as their way of showing "that while they had not engaged in the improper accounting activities," the executives shared their "deep disappointment in these actions…" (See Nortel Silent on Baffling Bonuses, Nortel Wants Its Bonuses Back, and Nortel Sues Former Executives.)
While it's not surprising that Nortel's new CEO, a former Motorola executive, would be quick to make changes to the executive ranks, some suggest that the rank and file at Nortel haven't been as big a mess lately as the company's top offices. (See Nortel, Moto Settle on Zafirovski and Your CMO Is Who?.) "Down in the trenches Nortel seems to be chugging along, benefited by increased carrier spending on optical, access, 3G, and VOIP," says Heavy Reading's chief analyst, Scott Clavenna.
— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading