Nortel CEO Maps Out His Vision
Zafirovski has already hired and fired extensively in the top tier of management, but he said he still has more to do. (See Nortel Poaches Juniper Strategist, Nortel's Clent Came & Went, and McFadden, Spradley out at Nortel).
There are still four key management positions to be filled: CTO, CMO (marketing), president of Asia, and president of services.
The CEO is also revamping Nortel's organizational structure. "This is a very complex organization, and decision-making is not where it needs to be... We have 10 layers of management, which is crazy. We'll be taking that down to six."
And the troops need reassuring, too. "There's a level of anxiety about where we're going next," which is being addressed in the current overhaul, noted Zafirovski.
Customers and contracts
The CEO is, not surprisingly, keen to crow about recent successes, including a significant piece of the next-generation wireless infrastructure action at Cingular Wireless . That's a "big contract that no one [outside Nortel] was expecting us to win," he bragged. (See Nortel, Cingular Ink Deal.)
What about India, though, where Nortel landed itself with a loss-making account at Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) ? Will Nortel go back and bid for the second phase of network expansion? (See Mega BSNL Contract Looms.)
There were "big mistakes in analyzing that [BSNL phase one] contract -- we're not going to repeat those mistakes," said Zafirovski, who added that any further deals would have to be profitable, or Nortel wouldn't get involved.
He also noted that Nortel had "10-plus major customers that make up a big part of our business," including AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Orange France . As for getting a foot in the door of major NGN contracts where Nortel had so far failed to make any impact, such as at BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) and Telstra Corp. Ltd. (ASX: TLS; NZK: TLS), he said talks were ongoing, and that such major network transformation projects were still at their very early stages. "This is a marathon... [Nortel is] looking to see how we can add value." (See BT Unveils 21CN Suppliers and Telstra Unveils Switch to IP.)
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading
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