Nortel Insider – by Desk Jockey

The view from one Desk Jockey

Guidance from Mike Z

with 6 comments

mikezLess than 12 hours from now our Dear Leader, Mike Z, is set to give his GIS on the state of the company.  It is hoped that he will give a real status update to address the concerns of employees who just want to know exactly what is going on.  With all the rumors and BS that has been flying around for some time, it is the least a leader can do to quell uncertainty.

However, this doesn’t solve the greatest dillemma: What can Nortel do to recover? Nortel has been plagued by a string of inept and sometimes criminal leaders, from the merely negligent Jon Roth to the criminally-negligent Frank Dunn.  Each of these has done their own part to run this company into the ground.  Perhaps Mike Z. was doomed to fail after inheriting this mess, but far too often we let our leaders off the hook with this excuse.

The biggest problem in Nortel is one of moral hazard.  The leaders who make these life-or-death decisions (life-or-death to the business) have nothing to lose from their choices.  If things turn out good, they take credit and reap the rewards in the forms of massive bonuses and payouts.  If things go bad, they still have their decent regular salary to fall back on, and in many cases, still receive substantial bonuses.  We will likely see something similar for 2008 despite all the turmoil.

Yet as this all occurs the people who have something to lose are left holding the short straw.  These are the employees who have worked their butts off to turnaround the company, only to see it run into yet another iceberg due to gross ineptitude. 

Mike Z., let’s hope you have a lot to say for yourself.


Written by Desk Jockey

November 18, 2008 at 12:16 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

6 Responses

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