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Nortel launches CEO search; COO quits

Sun, 05/13/2001 - 8:00pm
Anne Kerven

Nortel Networks Corp. is stepping up its search for a new CEO, after its present chief gave a definite retirement date and its COO will leave for medical reasons.

President and CEO John Roth will leave in April 2002, Nortel announced, and Clarence J. Chandran, already on medical leave from surgery, resigned effective immediately.

Chandran says in a statement that his doctors extended his recovery time. "I have concluded that it is simply unfair to the company to extend my absence on these grounds and the responsible course is to step aside," he says.

Last month, the company cited tighter capital markets and an overall economic slowdown for its $2.58 billion in losses for its first quarter. It also reported it would cut 5,000 more jobs by mid-year for a total of 20,000 jobs cut since December. Revenues were $6.18 billion, down from $6.32 billion a year ago.

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