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Security Platforms/Tools

McFadden In, Mumford Out as NT CTO

In case you hadn't noticed, there's a lot going on at Nortel Networks Ltd. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) these days. (See Nortel Details Layoff Plans, Nortel Sees Light Revenues, Slow Growth, Nortel Restates Delay of Restatement , Problems Mount-y Up for Nortel, and Nortel Tries On a New Suit for a small taste of recent events.)

There's so much going on, in fact, that it may have escaped a lot of people's attention that Nortel has a new CTO as of today, when Brian McFadden moves from the President of Optical Networks chair into the CTO seat as Greg Mumford prepares to ride his Harley into the sunset.

Mumford, one of our Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Telecom, will "act as special advisor to the President and Chief Executive Officer" Bill Owens until he hands over his reserved parking space to some young whipper-snapper early next year.

The news of this top-level shuffle was somewhat buried in one of Nortel's now infamous "nothing-material-has-happened-recently-except-for-the-following-monumental-changes" status updates back in August. The decision that McFadden would slide across into Mumford's chair was part of an exhaustive "Annex" at the foot of a press release that was already thousands of words long (see Nortel Provides Q1, Q2 Estimates for the main chunk of the release).

McFadden, a Nortel veteran of 25 years, laid down some CTO-type thoughts for Light Reading at the recent Broadband World Forum industry event in Venice. Chief among his concerns is the role of network management systems, and the broader IT/IS systems that make existing and future networks tick. "Some people call that middleware, but basically it's all about adapting the network to the user, not adapting the user to the network. We believe users will want to provision their own services."

Another key issue for McFadden is security, which will come as no suprise to those that read down August's update as far as the Annex to find that McFadden will "assume the role of Chief Technology Officer and will also have responsibility for ensuring Nortel Networks' global leadership in networks security." So he needs to at least namecheck the topic.

But he's confident Nortel has the experience to crack the major security issues and deliver the right technology as part of the company's product set. Security, he says, "has to be built into the network."

Partnerships ("the industry has to learn how to work together"); standards issues (particularly in OSS); non-proprietary technology (economics will enforce this); the key role of integrators; the rise of Ethernet to become a pervasive wide-area technology; and how Light Reading can twist a sentence to wring it dry of its original meaning -- these are all issues about which McFadden has a view.

To get the full picture, look out for our exclusive interview with McFadden early next week.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

PO 12/5/2012 | 1:13:33 AM
re: McFadden In, Mumford Out as NT CTO It would be more helpful to see an article describing McFadden's qualifications as CTO in a company focusing on "convergence" technologies.

In his time in Optical Networks, he watched a couple simple data products come to market.

But is there some part of his recent experience which I have missed that gives him personal insight into the complexities of data networking or of voice services as an application on data networks?

In other words, I clearly see that he is qualified to lead what has been a declining BU for several years now, but the past is not the future.
dodo 12/5/2012 | 1:13:33 AM
re: McFadden In, Mumford Out as NT CTO The web site is up-to-date.
dispersion compensator 12/5/2012 | 1:13:29 AM
re: McFadden In, Mumford Out as NT CTO Did LR just finish reading Nortel's August press release? This news is at least a month old! This, combined with a press release about your Lucent coverage that quotes the author of the press release(!) -- who also happens to be the author of that self-proclaimed "groundbreaking" coverage -- smacks of journalistic desperation.

Squeaky wheel is one thing but c'mon guys. Just give us the news and spare us the self-importance. When you hit something big, WE (your readers) will let you know.
OptixCal 12/5/2012 | 1:13:20 AM
re: McFadden In, Mumford Out as NT CTO If NT changes their shorts as often as their management team, they should be "daisy fresh" for awhile, huh? Hmmm...I don't think that's daisies I'm smellin'
PO 12/5/2012 | 1:08:40 AM
re: McFadden In, Mumford Out as NT CTO look out for our exclusive interview with McFadden early next week

This has to be one of the longest weeks in history. Or perhaps there's nothing that the poor lad can do to defend his position?
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