House resigns from Nortel

Exactly one year to the day after Nortel Networks bought Bay Networks the company announced last week that Dave House will leave his post as Nortel president by the end of August.

Commenting on the news, Mark George, Nortel, Asia Pacific, president of enterprise solutions, said House would step down from his position as president on August 31, but would remain an "active" member of the board of directors.

In his role, House was crucial to the merger between Nortel and Bay and the complete repositioning of the company in the market," George said.

"Clearly Dave House wasn't in a short term role. He was instrumental to change," George said. George was unable to shed any light on House's future plans.

Nortel last year acquired Bay for about $US9.1 billion, starting its shift from voice to IP communications. House, Bay's CEO at the time, stayed on to become Nortel's president.

It is understood senior executives signed contracts to stay on with the merged company under a year-long contract.

House's departure wasn't a big surprise to one analyst. House had gotten Bay ready to be acquired after the 1994 merger between Wellfleet Communications and SynOptics that created Bay, said Virginia Brooks, an analyst at Aberdeen Group. House's task was to get a then-struggling Bay "ready to go to the dance and that's just what he did", Brooks said.

House's strength was in semiconductors and marketing, not networking, she added. According to officials, Nortel has no plans to fill the president post.

Meanwhile, Bill Hawe was appointed senior vice president and chief technology officer for Nortel. George said Hawe's new position is effective immediately.

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