& cplSiteName &

Ex-Lucent Exec Builds New Career

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading

The executive whose whistle-blowing lawsuit against Rich McGinn helped publicize the tribulations of management at Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) is forging a new career in telecom startups.

Today, Aplion Networks Inc., a services switch vendor based in Edison, N.J., announced that Nina Aversano has joined its board of directors (see Aversano Joins Aplion). Aversano is the former president of North American sales at Lucent, and since June 2001 she's been executive VP of worldwide field operations at Apogee Networks, which makes billing software for enterprise and carrier use.

Aversano says she's having a ball. After three decades spent climbing the corporate ladder, she's obviously enjoying the change. "It's enormous fun," she says. "Big companies have wonderful value, but startups have focus, energy, and intensity."

Aversano has plenty of big-league experience for comparison. With a Bachelor's degree in liberal arts from St. John's University and a Master's from Pace University, Aversano spent seven years at IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), three at Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX), and over 20 at AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) and Lucent.

Last fall, Aversano made headlines when she filed suit against Lucent, alleging ousted chairman Rich McGinn fired her after a meeting in October 2000 at which Aversano told McGinn his sales targets were unrealistic.

Neither Lucent nor Aversano will comment on the ongoing lawsuit.

News of the litigation broke as reports surfaced that Lucent was undergoing an investigation for accounting fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (see SEC Knocking on Lucent's Door). That too is being kept close to the vest by Lucent and the SEC, neither of which will comment. However, according to the SEC's public records, no specific action has been taken against Lucent so far.

Aversano isn't the only ex-Lucent executive who's running on a different track these days. Rich McGinn himself has become a venture capitalist at RRE Ventures in New York (see Rich McGinn).

— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
[email protected]
12/4/2012 | 7:30:47 PM
re: Ex-Lucent Exec Builds New Career
I do not think Nina Aversano deserves to be lumped in with the good-ol'-boys club of shameful incompetents that made up the almost feudal system of patronage that surrounded McGinn. Aversano, along with Pat Russo and perhaps Curt Sanford, attempted unsuccessfully to reform the Lucent sales force. Russo and Aversano wound up as scapegoats, and Sanford got disgusted and walked away.

Nina's message was basic to the portion of the internetworking industry that has had to compete as part of the sales process: increased individual accountability, elmination of shared quotas, increased upsides for performers, etc.

It looked to me like she was sandbagged from underneath by an army of ATT-esque middle management that were opposed to anything resembling performance-based management of sales.

Then she became a scapegoat by Rich McGinn. In this case, McGinn wasn't drinkin' the Lucent cool aid. He knew very well the numbers were dropping and didn't want to take the fall himself.

My take was that had she not challenged McGinn she could have survived at Lucent. Lucent management plays a game of 'shoot the reformer and shuffle the rest of top management game'. (Better to walk away with your self-respect and not be, like McGinn, an industry laughingstock for the rest of your life.) I suppose it is no surprise that there are very few reformers among Lucent top management today.
12/4/2012 | 7:30:38 PM
re: Ex-Lucent Exec Builds New Career
Better to walk away with your self-respect and not be, like McGinn, an industry laughingstock for the rest of your life.

... with a $ million-per-year pension. Sure sounds tempting!
12/4/2012 | 7:30:33 PM
re: Ex-Lucent Exec Builds New Career
does anyone know whatever happened to that lawsuit that nina slapped on lucent?
12/4/2012 | 7:28:40 PM
re: Ex-Lucent Exec Builds New Career
johnjohn wrote:
"does anyone know whatever happened to that lawsuit that nina slapped on lucent?"

LR wrote:
"Neither Lucent nor Aversano will comment on the ongoing lawsuit."

jimbo59 wrote:
Sure johnjohn, I do. It's still ongoing. Just like the article said...
Featured Video
Upcoming Live Events
October 22, 2019, Los Angeles, CA
November 5, 2019, London, England
November 7, 2019, London, UK
November 14, 2019, Maritim Hotel, Berlin
December 3-5, 2019, Vienna, Austria
December 3, 2019, New York, New York
March 16-18, 2020, Embassy Suites, Denver, Colorado
May 18-20, 2020, Irving Convention Center, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events