by CIO Staff

Nortel CFO to Step Down by End of April

Feb 06, 20072 mins

A chief financial officer (CFO) who helped Nortel Networks recover from an accounting scandal and years of poor results is leaving the company after about two years on the job.

Peter Currie, also an executive vice president, will leave April 30 to take on unspecified new challenges, according to a Nortel statement. The Brampton, Ontario, company is searching for a replacement. After Currie leaves, he will provide advice and assistance to ensure a smooth transition, the company said.

Currie has spent much of his career at Nortel, including as CFO from 1994 to 1997. He returned in February 2005 following a scandal in 2004 that led to financial restatements and the firing of CEO Frank Dunn, CFO Douglas Beatty and Controller Michael Gollogly. Currie replaced another CFO, William Kerr, who had stepped in after Beatty to complete the restatements.

Under current President and CEO Mike Zafirovski, who took the helm in October 2005, Nortel has undergone a major restructuring and several management changes. Zafirovski has tried to focus the wide-ranging company, which faces many strong competitors, most notably Cisco Systems. Last year Nortel formed a partnership with Microsoft to develop products for IP communications.

Currie has steered Nortel through difficult financial issues and improved its corporate governance, Zafirovski said in a written statement.

To have a complete facelift, Nortel needs more change in the executive ranks under Zafirovski, said Yankee Group analyst Zeus Kerravala, a longtime Nortel watcher. Customers want a clearer picture of where Nortel will focus its investments, especially now that it’s working with Microsoft, he said.

“There are a lot questions as to what Nortel looks like five years from now, but even next year,” Kerravala said.

Stephen Lawson, IDG News Service (San Francisco Bureau)

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