Nortel reorganizes business

A high-level reorganization at Nortel Networks Corp. will divide the company into divisions serving four main markets: wireless networks, wireline networks, enterprise networks and optical networks, the company announced Thursday.

Like other makers of telecommunications gear, Nortel, in Brampton, Ontario, has been hurt by the deep slump in spending by service providers that began in 2000. Enterprises also have cut back on network spending amid the weak economy. Nortel's stock (New York Stock Exchange: NT) Thursday was trading at less than US$1, down from more than $80 in mid-2000.

The reorganization is intended to streamline the company and align it more directly with customers, according to a Nortel statement. Previously, the company had been organized into Wireless Networks, Optical Networks, and Metro and Enterprise Networks.

Also Thursday, the company announced that Frank Plastina, president of the Metro and Enterprise Networks division, has decided to leave Nortel after 15 years. The enterprise-oriented business in that unit has now been split off into its own division, and the other part of the unit, circuit-based equipment, will be split off into the new Wireline Networks division.

In addition to circuit-based products, the Wireline Networks division will also make packet-based network equipment for voice, data and multimedia services. Sue Spradley has been named president of the unit.

The new Enterprise Networks business will be headed by Oscar Rodriguez, president of enterprise solutions. Robert Burke will continue as president of enterprise marketing.

Pascal Debon continues as president of Wireless Networks, and Brian McFadden continues as president of Optical Networks. All the division heads will report directly to Nortel President and Chief Executive Officer Frank Dunn.

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