Nortel disbands executive transition body

Signaling that its transition to a new top executive is complete, Nortel Networks on Thursday dissolved the Office of the Chief Executive, which the company formed as former Chief Financial Officer Frank Dunn took over as president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the company in November 2001.

The body was made up of Dunn, Executive Chairman of the Board Lynton (Red) Wilson and John Roth, non-executive vice chairman of the board. It was intended to manage the transition between former President and CEO Roth and his successor, Dunn, according to a company statement.

Also Thursday, the company announced Roth will not stand for re-election to the board at Nortel's April 25 shareholders meeting.

Dunn took over Nortel as the global vendor of telecommunication and networking infrastructure cut jobs and pulled out of markets in the face of deep quarterly losses. Those losses continued in the fourth quarter of 2001, ended Dec. 31. However, executives said in a Jan. 18 conference call to discuss those results that they expect cost-cutting to allow a return to profitability in the fourth quarter of this year.

Earlier this month, Nortel CFO Terry Hungle resigned after just a few months in the job after making possibly improper personal financial transactions that Nortel said it had voluntarily reported to securities regulators.

Also Thursday, Nortel announced that Teledesic LLC executive William Arthur (Bill) Owens had joined the Nortel board of directors. Owens is vice chairman of the board and co-CEO of Teledesic, a private venture that is building a satellite-based broadband network.

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