Veteran takes the chair at NetComm

As Australian company NetComm makes the transition from modem manufacturer to fully fledged broadband services supplier, Dr Thomas Girgensohn has resigned from the board and industry veteran Terry Winters has been recruited as chairman. "With his significant experience in the telecommunications markets Terry Winters now steps in to guide the company through its next growth phase," explained managing director David Stewart. He added, with no little understatement, that Winters has had "a very long association with the telecommunications carrier business in Australia".

In fact, Winter was the founder of Link Telecommunications, where he was CEO and managing director from the early 1980s to 1999. Link was a pioneer in mobile messaging services and operated one of Australia's largest outsourced call centre businesses.

From 1989 to 1992 Winters led the establishment of Optus Communications and its successful tender to become Australia's second carrier. In 1991 he led BellSouth's entry to New Zealand, and during the late 1990s has developed strong links with carriers in Asia. Stewart said that throughout his career Winters has been an advocate of telecommunications deregulation and competition.

Around the traps

Mike Hargis has been appointed regional vice president for Australasia and South Pacific at global communications company SITA. His previous roles have included sales and marketing manager for IBM and NEC in Australia, and international carrier manager and business partner manager, Asia/Pacific, for British Telecom. At SITA he replaces Russell Robertson, who has moved to Singapore to become Asia/Pacific vice president of sectors.

PowerTel has recruited Neil Verrall from Telstra to take the position of director of sales and marketing. At Telstra he was national general manager of retail and wholesale trade, major accounts sales for Telstra business solutions.

A door too far

In the US Michael Cowpland resigned suddenly as president, CEO and chairman of the board of embattled Canadian developer Corel. The news had been expected for some time in light of the company's ongoing financial struggles. As Cowpland heads off to spend time "on new startup opportunities" Derek Burney, executive vice president, engineering and chief technology officer, was appointed interim CEO and president.

Late last year Cowpland was charged with three counts of violating Ontario securities law when he allegedly used inside information about a poor quarterly result to offload 2.4 million shares for about $US14 million. Cowpland disputed the charges and a spokesman for the Ontario Securities Commission has been quoted by the company as saying the resignation is not related to the commission's investigations.

Trouble at the top at Lucent has led to the departure of Patricia Russo, who was executive vice president and CEO of the Service Provider Networks Group. A replacement has not yet been found and executives who previously reported to Russo will now report to CEO Richard McGinn. At the same time the CEO's job at Lucent's microelectronics business, which is to be spun off into a separate company, will go to an insider, John Dickson, who was formerly CEO of Lucent's Microelectronics and Communications Technology Group. The IPO of the business is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2001.

Microsoft has launched its new .Net division with Bob Muglia as group vice president. He will oversee the development of software, subscription services, and interface design for the division. Muglia joined Microsoft in 1998 and was previously vice president of the division responsible for the development of the Office suite of products. He is also a member of the Microsoft senior leadership team that oversees the company's core direction.

Novell has appointed Carl Ledbetter as chief technology officer, replacing Dave Shirk who left in July to join content management solutions provider Vignette. Ledbetter, previously senior vice president of Novell's business and corporate development, joined the company in 1999 from Hybrid Networks.

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