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Insanity at Nortel? Petitions Court for Executive Bonuses

Earlier this month, Nortel successfully petitioned courts in Canada and the United States for $22 million in payments to about 900 key engineers and other professionals. Today they are attempting to secure permission for $23 million in bonuses for executive management, excluding CEO Mike Zafirovski. From a public relations perspective this is not the best time to pad the pockets of executives who have led Nortel to its current bankrupt state and driven down its common stock from more than $1,000 per share to virtually nothing. Although several top level executives have been at Nortel for only a few years, coming on board after the beginning of the decline, the bottom line results are that they were unable to turn things around in a positive direction.

I myself have not been impressed with Nortel executive management team actions and decisions the past few years. Just as one small example: Someone at Nortel decided not to participate in my annual RFP panel at VoiceCon at the end of this month. The excuse given was resources were not available this year to prepare a RFP response, although a few companies a fraction of their size had plentiful resources for the effort. I know that more than a few customers attending the tutorial will be disappointed by Nortel's absence. And I have still had no hint of a formal industry analyst or consultant conference anytime soon (a touchy subject at the company) to keep these communities abreast of Nortel activities and plans. Nortel's marketing communications efforts in support of its enterprise communications business looks to have has fallen into an abyss from which it may never escape.