Nortel CFO Resigns

Peter Currie completes a difficult second tour of duty as the telecom's finance chief.
Stephen Taub and Dave CookFebruary 6, 2007

Nortel Networks announced that executive vice president and chief financial officer Peter Currie will step down, effective April 30.

The Canadian telecom giant gave no reasons for Currie’s departure and did not indicate whether he would be taking a position elsewhere, but it stated that Currie would provide advice and assistance “to ensure a smooth transition.” Speaking with Reuters, company spokesman Jay Barta added: “I can tell you it was his decision. He wasn’t pushed out or asked to go.”

In a statement, president and chief executive officer Mike Zafirovski credited Currie with improving the company’s governance while steering Nortel through a difficult time.
Those difficulties included restatements, the dismissal of top executives, an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and last year’s $2.5 billion shareholder lawsuit.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective CFOs

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective CFOs

Download our whitepaper to discover the technical and behavioral skills needed to lead your business forward.

Zafirovski added that Currie “leaves behind a very strong finance organization led by a team of consummate professionals.” For Currie’s part, he said in a statement, “We have transformed the finance organization, significantly strengthened internal controls, and improved the balance sheet.”

Earlier, Currie had taken several breaks from his finance career at Nortel, leaving the firm (twice) to serve as CFO at North American Life Assurance and at RBC Financial Group. In between, he served as Nortel’s finance chief from 1994 to 1997, then retired from RBC in 2004. But in a matter of months he was back at Nortel, telling CFO magazine last year, “I felt it was a challenge I couldn’t refuse.”

4 Powerful Communication Strategies for Your Next Board Meeting