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Nortel Adds Another Enterprise Chief

Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) has appointed a new president of its Enterprise Networks business, in a move that spotlights company strategy -- and gives a lesson in reading the fine print (see Nortel Names Enterprise Chief).

Malcolm Collins, a ten-year Nortel veteran and former head of the firm's U.K. and Northern European Region, is immediately taking the helm of Enterprise Networks, which became a distinct entity in a company realignment last October (see Plastina Out in Nortel Reshuffle).

The appointment doesn't mean, though, that Oscar Rodriguez, the president of Enterprise Solutions per October's announcement, will be going anywhere. He's staying on in his present job, responsible for "business strategy and investment, and product strategy, execution, and delivery," according to Nortel spokesman David Chamberlin.

There also are two other presidents alongside him who continue to function as before: Robert Burke stays put as president of Enterprise Marketing, "responsible for Enterprise Solution and channel marketing," per Chamberlin; Steve Schilling continues as president of Enterprise Accounts (sales).

According to Chamberlin, the appointment of Collins should be no surprise, because the new division is named Enterprise Networks. Oscar Rodriguez was chosen as president and GM of Enterprise Solutions. There's a difference: Solutions is products only. Networks oversees the presidential triumvirate of solutions, marketing, and sales.

Collins will have "end-to-end responsibility for all elements of Nortel Networks Enterprise business -- including business development, products, marketing, and sales," according to Chamberlin.

So who's been president of Enterprise Networks before now? Frank Dunn, says Chamberlin. The CEO himself stood in as overseer of the division until another honcho was found.

Chamberlin gave no reason at press time why the clarification between Networks and Solutions wasn't made in the October 3 announcement, or why Nortel didn't initially announce its intent to hire another executive to rule the division.

Another source at Nortel says the hiring of Collins reflects the company's commitment to the enterprise space. Nortel has decided to throw global expertise at this segment (which Collins clearly has) and to put in as much executive muscle as possible.

"We're serious about the enterprise space. We wanted global expertise and to round out leadership," says spokeswoman Ann Fuller. Nortel wants to go head to head with Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) in what it sees as a growing opportunity and a strategic market, she says.

Comments like these contradict speculation that Nortel may be grooming its Enterprise division to sell it. Tongues wagged most recently when Nortel revised some figures for the division in November (see Nortel Shuffles the Numbers). "We are committed to the long-term success and growth of our Enterprise Networks business," Dunn is quoted as saying in today's release.

But what about Enterprise Solutions?

— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading
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trashedbyNT 12/5/2012 | 12:56:31 AM
re: Nortel Adds Another Enterprise Chief "I wonder how many Senior Exec's are still at the company after 60,000 redundancies?"

I just counted 16 Presidents on the Orgchart. If I manage to hold on, that gives me about a 1 in 2000 chance of becoming President. There aren't many companies that give you that kind of opportunity:)
BobbyMax 12/4/2012 | 9:11:51 PM
re: Nortel Adds Another Enterprise Chief Nortel must stay in the business of enterprise networks as it can meet the demands of the market place more than any other vendor. I also hope that the company would continue to make the necessary changes in its product lines and personnel. Do not pursue useless acquisitions.
litemyfiber 12/4/2012 | 9:11:50 PM
re: Nortel Adds Another Enterprise Chief Rather than report the news as it is, LR has to somehow turn their own lack of understanding of Nortel's corporate structure into a value added message. A snide and snotty one no less. Pretty sad.

Same deal with all of the rumors and trial ballons that then become facts of record that have to be regurgitated whenever possible. I'll say this though, those "rumors" about Nortel getting out of enterprise lost a few points of enterprise market share to Cisco; even though there wasn't a grain of truth in them. More recently those egomaniacal creeps have been running around telling everyone NT is going out of business, and they've "killed the monster from the north". Then they wonder why customers won't return their calls. Same BS different source.
Scott Raynovich 12/4/2012 | 9:11:48 PM
re: Nortel Adds Another Enterprise Chief >Rather than report the news as it is, LR has to >somehow turn their own lack of understanding of Nortel's corporate structure into a value added >message.

This seems pretty straightforward to me. I guess if you work at Nortel you take it a little differently.
gea 12/4/2012 | 9:11:48 PM
re: Nortel Adds Another Enterprise Chief "Do not pursue useless acquisitions."

Hey Booby! Talking directly to Nortel's top brass, eh! Wow. I'm sure they've written your recommendations down and are pondering them right now. I'm sure, too, that it never occurred to them not to pursue "useless acquisitions".

Oh yeah...you never commented on your little LR article. What did you think?
zettabit 12/4/2012 | 9:11:47 PM
re: Nortel Adds Another Enterprise Chief Unlike previous posters that pooh-pooh the LR reporting style around this apointment, this announcement SHOULD be viewed as what it is - continuing Nortel organizational politics.

As an insider several things are obvious:

- Nortel continues to struggle with overlapping titles and roles that are creations intended to satisfy individual career aspirations as opposed to a clear organizational structure strategy.

- Malcolm Collins has been itching for a bigger role ever since he was denied the job of President for EMEA that was given to Steve Pusey in 2001. My bet is that Steve Pusey championed him to Dunn for this role as a "old boys" payback.

- The well-entrenched Nortel practice of promoting based on "old-boy" connections as opposed to true experience and credentials is alive and well. What Steve Chamberlain and LR do not report are Collins experience. Has he ever worked in the Enterprise market? NO. Does he have global experience? NO. Has he worked channel development, key to success in the enterprise space (see Cisco)? NO. Collins has spent most of his career as a carrier sales prime for Europe - and was great at it. However one has to ask how that qualifies him to run the ENTIRE GLOBAL enterprise business against a fantastic competitor Cisco that has people running that business whose experience is orders of magnitude deeper and broader than Collins' in this space. But then again, he has been a long-term, well connected Nortel insider for a long time - qualifications enough.

It looked for a while that the insider old-boys promotions and "re-org du jour" had stopped after Chandran and his cabal had been cleared out of Nortel in 2000-2001, but this announcement sets the trend straight. LR is absolutely right to mock the Enterpise Networks, Enterprise Solutions, Enterprise Marketing and Enterprise Accounts organization terminology. It should rather be read as "how to keep Malcolm, Steve, Robert and Oscar happy".

Does Cisco have such an organization structure to enable it to be the #1 enterprise vendor? No.

Belzebutt 12/4/2012 | 9:11:46 PM
re: Nortel Adds Another Enterprise Chief This seems pretty straightforward to me. I guess if you work at Nortel you take it a little differently.

So now even LR staff resorts to the old line "if you don't agree with me that means you must be working for company ______"?
achorale 12/4/2012 | 9:11:46 PM
re: Nortel Adds Another Enterprise Chief BoobyMax sez:
>Nortel must stay in the business
>of enterprise networks as it can
>meet the demands of the market
>place more than any other vendor.

Booby where exactly do you buy your crack? You're assertion that Nortel is better suited to meet enterprise demands is so patently absurd I'm at a loss for words, but IGÇÖll give it a shot. Perhaps you have not heard of this small company called Cisco?

If you believe that Nortel is better suited to meet enterprise needs than Cisco, then my poor lobotomized friend, your continuing razor sharp insights are blazing with a luminescence slightly inferior to that of an inebriated frat boyGÇÖs ignited flatulence.

achorale
Bill Johnson 12/4/2012 | 9:11:45 PM
re: Nortel Adds Another Enterprise Chief Achorale wrote:
"Booby where exactly do you buy your crack? You're assertion that Nortel is better suited to meet enterprise demands is so patently absurd I'm at a loss for words, but IGÇÖll give it a shot. Perhaps you have not heard of this small company called Cisco?

If you believe that Nortel is better suited to meet enterprise needs than Cisco, then my poor lobotomized friend, your continuing razor sharp insights are blazing with a luminescence slightly inferior to that of an inebriated frat boyGÇÖs ignited flatulence."

Thanks for the humor. Too many people that post on the LR boards are wound too tight to appreciate it. As for Booby, the rantings of praise directed at Nortel are simply another reason to believe that Booby is the exiled HarveyMudd reincarnated. If you remember HarveyMudd, he/she was always touting that Nortel could do no wrong.

As for Nortel, yes they did make some bad acquisitions. So did Lucent, Cisco, and a whole slew of other respected companies. Why? If you can't develop the technology on your own or do not wish to make the investment to do so, buy out someone that already has. Now you have a few choices. Absorb them and add to you existing portfolio of products and services, shut them down and hang onto the IP while eliminating possible competition, or swallow a loss for buying IP that was never proven to work in the first place.

dodo 12/4/2012 | 9:11:43 PM
re: Nortel Adds Another Enterprise Chief And we thought that the inverse pyramid was over and done with!

We must be daft!

Four Presidents for the same Business Unit
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