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Optical/IP

Mike Z's Exit Strategy

7:30 AM -- Can this be any good for morale? (Answers on the message boards, please...)

In the midst of his company's asset divestment program, Nortel Networks Ltd. CEO Mike 'Zed Man' Zafirovski has started talking about his future employment prospects. (See Canadian Gov't to Examine Nortel Auction 'Discrepancy', RIM CEO Calls Nortel LTE Patents a 'National Treasure', Nortel's Enterprise Auction Set for 9/11, and Ericsson's Nortel Bid Nears Closure.)

Check out this Ottawa Citizen interview for the details.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

Stevery 12/5/2012 | 3:58:58 PM
re: Mike Z's Exit Strategy

And for comparison, this was the vision article.


I thought the guy was actually on the right track.  Let that be a lesson to you all.

^Eagle^ 12/5/2012 | 3:58:58 PM
re: Mike Z's Exit Strategy

I never thought he was on the right track.  He was the wrong guy from the very first day.


first: he gave up Moto's leadership in handsets.  he gave up Moto's leadership in semiconductors, and helped caused the mess of Freescale.  This was apparent even in 2004/2005 when he was being recruited.  While other companies were booming, Moto has been in a similar long term fight to the death with wrong managers leading for some time.  


he was a miserable choice in my opinion.  his only "brilliant" (NOT) move was to try to be a company that Microsoft would want to buy.... the effort further diluted Nortel's engineering focus and further fractured and confused all on what Nortel's strategic direction.  That "inspired" move took Nortel further from what they were good at: carrier infrastructure.. take a look at the valuable assets: wireless, carrier ethernet, carrier optical transport. 


Yes, he inherited a mess, but he did NOTHING to turn it around.  Rather, in my humble opinion, he accelerated the death spiral by several moves he made.  


I put him in the same class as the other bozo's who lead this great company into ruin.  Overpaid blowhard with no real clue how a telecom company works and certainly no inspirational leadership.


sailboat

^Eagle^ 12/5/2012 | 3:58:57 PM
re: Mike Z's Exit Strategy

sorry folks, my fat finger clicked twice on the post button.  ooops.

^Eagle^ 12/5/2012 | 3:58:57 PM
re: Mike Z's Exit Strategy

I never thought he was on the right track.  He was the wrong guy from the very first day.


first: he gave up Moto's leadership in handsets.  he gave up Moto's leadership in semiconductors, and helped caused the mess of Freescale.  This was apparent even in 2004/2005 when he was being recruited.  While other companies were booming, Moto has been in a similar long term fight to the death with wrong managers leading for some time.  


he was a miserable choice in my opinion.  his only "brilliant" (NOT) move was to try to be a company that Microsoft would want to buy.... the effort further diluted Nortel's engineering focus and further fractured and confused all on what Nortel's strategic direction.  That "inspired" move took Nortel further from what they were good at: carrier infrastructure.. take a look at the valuable assets: wireless, carrier ethernet, carrier optical transport. 


Yes, he inherited a mess, but he did NOTHING to turn it around.  Rather, in my humble opinion, he accelerated the death spiral by several moves he made.  


I put him in the same class as the other bozo's who lead this great company into ruin.  Overpaid blowhard with no real clue how a telecom company works and certainly no inspirational leadership.


sailboat

Stevery 12/5/2012 | 3:58:57 PM
re: Mike Z's Exit Strategy

Sailboat:  FWIW (which is not very much), I thought MOT was the wrong place, and they did need someone more techy.


NT was a beast of a different color.  It was already internally fractured, and recovering technological leadership on a timescale that was monetarily feasible was not viable for some big pieces of the biz.  So the right thing was to sell off the bad and clean up the good.  Having somebody who is relatively immune to the tech and is only looking at balance sheets might be seen as an advantage.


I think what he did not count on, and found out only after arrival, is that the overall real book value was quite negative.  Selling off the worst pieces would have simplified the balance sheet and exposed the severely negative book value.  At that point, your options as a new CEO are either come clean and start the bankruptcy negotiations or "pretend, extend and pray".


Extend and pretend works for a while, but only if you find some other sucker to take the bag.  (cf the banking industry for other examples.)

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 3:58:57 PM
re: Mike Z's Exit Strategy

Typing and tacking at the same time sailboat?  :)


seven


 

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