Mike Zafirovski may have been heralded as the turnaround man Nortel needed when he assumed the CEO post in late 2005, but today he announced that he's officially resigning as CEO of the company. Prior to joining Nortel, Zafirovski had a successful track record in turning around both Motorola's handset unit and one of GE's lighting businesses. Instead of helping Nortel come out of bankruptcy protection intact, Zafirovski has been conducting a bargain basement sale of its remaining assets to pay off creditors instead.
Thus far, Nortel found suitors willing to pay big dollars for a couple of its units. After Nokia Siemens Networks made an initial $650 million stalking horse bid for Nortel's LTE and CDMA assets, Ericsson eventually won them with a bid of $1.13 billion. Meanwhile, Avaya has made an initial $475 million stalking-horse bid for Nortel's enterprise unit.
The big question now on the wireline side is who will acquire its profitable Metro Ethernet Network (MEN) division? Nortel's MEN unit has been a shining star for the company. During the first quarter the unit generated $360 million in revenue selling optical and carrier Ethernet gear. Speculation has grown that a deal could come this week with competitor Ciena as one of the likely bidders.
The state of Avaya's Nortel bid
Ericsson emerges as winner of Nortel's CDMA, LTE assets
Sorting out Nortel's metro Ethernet bidders
Nortel's future may rest with fiber optics and MEN unit