Nortel CEO to advise Bush on security issues
Toronto Star, July 12, 2007
Mike Zafirovski, the chief executive of Nortel Networks Corp. (TSX: NT) is joining a panel that provides technical advice on national security issues to President George W. Bush.
The Toronto-based telecommunications equipment maker has long counted the U.S. government and American phone companies among its biggest customers.
Nortel's board of directors, from time to time, has also included a number of high-ranking members of the American defence and security community.
Former Nortel chief executive Bill Owens, for instance, was had a distinguished career as an admiral in the U.S. Navy, serving during the first Persian Gulf War.
In addition, former Nortel chair Frank Carlucci held a number of positions in the U.S. government, including as defence secretary.
On Thursday, Nortel announced that Zafirovski – who joined the Canadian telecom company in late 2005 after five years at cellphone giant Motorola Corp. and 20 years at General Electric – has been appointed to the U.S. National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee by Bush.
The committee advises the president of technical issues and other national systems security.
Zafirovski took over at Nortel in 2005, succeeding former U.S. admiral Bill Owens, who was once the second-highest ranking military officer in the United States.
Nortel also announced Thursday that it has won a $150-million (U.S.) multi-year extension to its contract with T-Mobile USA for mobile voice and data services.
Through the deal, Nortel will upgrade T-Mobile's GSM infrastructure equipment and services to increase its network capacity.
T-Mobile USA is a subsidiary of T-Mobile International, owned by Deutsche Telekom AG, and has about 26 million subscribers.
Nortel closed Thursday at $24.72, up 28 cents, at the Toronto Stock Exchange.