Nortel – another perpsective

It’s been said that Canadians like to see one of their own do well. But not too well.

It’s a lesson Nortel is no doubt well schooled in. No company seems to have done so well, then so spectacularly not well, in such a short period. In the late ’90s Nortel was clearly the favourite son of the Canadian IT tech family.

Then the post Y2K dip arrived, hitting telecom harder than software and hardware, and Nortel’s business growth model came under a more critical media light. CEO John Roth went from hero to dog virtually overnight. Nothing changed about Nortel per se, of course. It was only guilty, along with many, many other technology firms of the day, of getting caught up in a bubble. They gambled, they lost.

But that was then. In many ways the current allegations around the now-fired senior executives are much more serious. If they prove to be true, then Nortel will rightly have much to answer for.

But that’s still only one side of the story. The other is best highlighted by James (not his real name), who these days is busy fine-tuning his r