Nortel Finds New Marketing Chief
Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) has confirmed that Alan Kember, a 25-year veteran of the company, has been appointed chief marketing officer.
Nortel declined to provide any further information, beyond confirming that Kember has replaced Anil Khatod, who had held the post since April 2001 and left the company last week, ostensibly to pursue other opportunities (see Nortel's Marketing Chief Resigns).
In an interesting twist, Nortel acknowledges that it's lopping off part of the title held by Khatod. Instead of "chief marketing and strategy officer," Kember will be simply "chief marketing officer."
The company refuses to specify just how the title change reflects changes in the job itself. However, Khatod was charged with supervising mergers and acquisitions, technology strategy, global marketing, advertising, and corporate communications. It's possible the M&A and technology strategy elements of that job will now be diverted elsewhere.
Kember has done a range of jobs at Nortel, both in Canada and the U.S., including VP of marketing for Nortel's Public Carrier Networks group, executive VP of sales for the Americas, and most recently, president of Enterprise Solutions.
As Kember tries on his new shoes, it's not clear who will step into his old ones. Reportedly, Nortel CEO John Roth is shuffling the executive cards yet again. More information may be coming forth tomorrow, when Nortel announces its quarterly earnings after market close.
One thing seems clear: The appointment of Kember indicates that Nortel's brass consider it a priority to keep the relatively new post of chief marketing officer filled.
That's not the case with all executive posts at Nortel. Earlier this year, when COO Clarence Chandran left for health reasons, CEO John Roth declined to replace him, saying instead that he'd act as CEO and COO until his retirement in April 2002 (see Nortel's Empty Room at the Top).
It's unlikely Kember would be in line for the CEO job, since sources at Nortel have said Roth and the board would like to hire an outsider for the top post.
- Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading