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Nortel Calls on Marconi Veteran for CFO Spot

Pavi Binning will take on the turnaround challenges at the telecom company.
Sarah JohnsonOctober 1, 2007

Nortel Networks has hired Pavi Binning as its new executive vice president and CFO. Starting November 12, Binning will take on the finance-chief reigns following several years of troubles in the Canadian telecom giant’s finance department.

Earlier this year, former Nortel CFO Peter Currie resigned after spending nearly three years helping to steer the company through restatements, the dismissals of top executives, and an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Currie took over the position after former CFO Douglas Beatty was fired. The SEC has since charged Beatty, former CEO Frank Dunn, former controller Michael Gollogly, and five vice presidents of finance with financial fraud.

The SEC alleges that the executives knew millions in excess reserves should have been released in accordance with GAAP, but instead allowed them to be held to manage earnings. The suit says the individuals violated or aided and abetted violations of the antifraud, reporting, books and records, internal controls, and lying to auditors provisions of the federal securities laws for more than three years. Dunn and Beatty are also accused of violating the Sarbanes-Oxley officer certification provisions.

In the press release announcing his appointment, Binning acknowledged he’ll have challenges ahead of him. “I believe that Nortel will be one of the most significant turnaround stories in corporate history, and I am excited to be a part of it,” he said.

Binning joins Nortel with more than 25 years of experience, including tenures as CFO at building materials company Hanson PLC and telecommunications company Marconi PLC. At Marconi, Binning worked on a corporate turnaround, an experience that will surely help him at Nortel. According to Nortel CEO and president Mike Zafirovski, Pavi is “a proven leader with extensive expertise in operational execution and a track record of excellence.”

David Drinkwater, who had been filling in temporarily as CFO after Currie’s departure, will return to his role as chief legal officer. Nortel also announced that Binning will serve as executive vice president and CFO of Nortel Networks Ltd., the company’s principal operating subsidiary.

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