Nortel executives change places

Nortel Networks executives played musical chairs Monday became the company’s new chief marketing officer and chief strategy officer and then left to run an Internet security company.
Nortel appoints Anil Khatod, president of the global Internet division of Nortel, as the new chief marketing and strategy company. Khatod, who previously oversaw all Nortel product groups related to Internet, will now be in charge of the company’s global business and technology strategies.

The company also said that nine year Nortel veteran William Conner will leave to become executive director of the security company Entrust Technologies. Conner was previously president of the division of Nortel e-business and marketing company was the first officer. To replace Conner, Nortel has promoted Joseph Davis, who worked in the division of Nortel e-business.

The executive shuffle comes amid tough economic times that have plagued its rivals Nortel Networks and Cisco Systems and Lucent Technologies. Like its competitors, Nortel has been hit hard by U.S. economic slowdown, the Canadian team as phone manufacturer recently announced a cost reduction plan that includes laying off 20,000 employees and the dissolution of the company slow growth.

“One of our main competitors is in serious trouble and the latter has lost its luster,” Khatod said, referring to Lucent and Cisco, respectively, in an interview. “Many of our competitors are starting to have trouble finding financing. Everyone is fighting, but the question is who is going to lighter, faster and better as a company? Is an opportunity for us to get lighter in terms of costs, and faster, in terms of technology. ”

Khatod, who reports directly to Nortel CEO John Roth, Nortel said it will focus on rapidly growing markets such as wireless networking equipment and optical. The company is in the midst of deciding which products to kill slow-growing, he added.

Khatod said the company still plans to spin off its components business, but will wait until the market recovers.