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August 11, 2009

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Nortel chief Zafirovski departs

MIKE Zafirovski is stepping down as CEO of Nortel Networks, which is currently liquidating. Additionally, Nortel's board of directors will be reduced from nine to three.

Zafirovski was named CEO in 2005 after serving as an executive at Motorola Inc and General Electric Co. He tried to transform the troubled telecommunications company but said the economic crisis changed the outlook dramatically. Nortel became the first major technology company to seek bankruptcy protection in this global downturn.

Zafirovski presided over a disheartening series of work force cuts and restructuring, and most recently the selling off of assets.

Nortel Chairman Harry Pearce said in a statement yesterday that Zafirovski made progress on getting the firm past its accounting scandals and legal issues.

He said it was unfortunate the transformation was derailed by a deteriorating economic climate and the company's legacy cost structure.

"We've reached a logical departure point," Pearce said. "Mike made a commitment to see the process through the stabilization of the company, sale of its largest assets and the right plans and people to continue operating our business and serving customers. He has done so. I appreciate the commitment and passion he brought to this company since day one, including his guidance through the extremely difficult decisions we faced since filing for creditor protection."



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