Nortel goes bankrupt: Did Zafirovski have a chance?

The company was already in ruins when he took over three years ago

After enjoying enviable success at General Electric and Motorola, Mike Zafirovski could have chosen any number of wonderful jobs. Instead, he chose Nortel. Now, it looks like he may have the dubious honor of being Nortel’s last CEO, presiding over the bankruptcy of what was once Canada’s largest company. But did he even have a chance? Gordon Pitts writes in the Globe and Mail that he really didn’t. If he had only got there earlier, perhaps his military-style leadership would have made a difference. But when he took over Nortel three years ago, the company was already in ruins. It was hollowed out by scandal, it had lost its discipline and had no sense of identity. His biggest mistake was not recognizing that before he took the job.

The Globe and Mail

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