Nortel Insider – by Desk Jockey

The view from one Desk Jockey

War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength

with one comment

obeyIf you’ve ever read 1984, you’ll be familiar with these doublethink terms.  Perhaps no one else is more familiar or adept at doublethink (or its loosely derived term, doublespeak) than the Nortel executive management team.  Here are a collection of their quotations, along with the dates of their deliverances.

“I think all of the bad stuff is behind us.”

John Manley, member of the BoD, in a statement to CBC Radio two days before Nortel declared bankruptcy.


“It’s not like we are a shrinking violet.”

Richard Lowe, VP of Carrier Networks, on December 20th, 2008.


“In terms of operational capability, it has little impact… Fact is – we’re into silly season and media are out to write the story they want to write on us.”

Ronald Alepian, VP Global Communications, in response to reports that Nortel was seeking bankruptcy advice, December 15th, 2008.


 “But I urge you to stay razor focused on the task at hand and not allow the press and pundits to derail your efforts.”

Ronald Alepian, December 12th, 2008.


“Said plainly, media now view us through a rather one-dimensional and challenging lens…  Nortel should be able to sustain adequate levels of liquidity in the next 12-18 months.”

Message to all employees, from Nortel Global Communications, December 11th, 2008.


“Yesterday’s WSJ was fueled by speculation and has no bearing…”

Nortel official FAQ to employees, in response to the WSJ article that Nortel was seeking bankruptcy advice, December 11th, 2008.


“Nortel must be put on a sound financial footing once and for all.”

Mike Zafirovski, Nortel CEO, referring to the bankruptcy filing.

We’ll let the absurdity of these statements tell the tale of Nortel’s ineffective leadership. For reference, Nortel filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday, January 14th, something the executive management must have been planning for during the past few months.  The astonishing descrepency between their words and actions makes you wonder whether they’ve lied so much that they’ve succeeded in only fooling themselves.  To these people, 1984 is more than just a book or manifesto; it’s a way of life.


Written by Desk Jockey

January 15, 2009 at 6:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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One Response

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  1. You compare Nortel to George Orwell’s “1984”. Well, the year 1984 came and went just fine, despite the media hysteria the book, its so-so motion picture and misguided S&M pop soundtrack briefly generated.

    It may have won the Best British Film of the Year award at the Evening Standard British Film Awards, but the ESBFA arn’t exactly the Oscars.

    Orwell’s pessimistic rant was just that – fiction borne from myriad paranoid delusions conjured during and after the doom-and-gloom surrounding World War II.

    Y2K. “2001: A Space Odysssey”. The list goes on. All but fanciful flights of ground zero Armageddon the media spoon-fed them and the masses bought into, but which consistently failed to materialize.

    Its far more appropriate to party like its 1999, because Nortel today is positioned to regain its crown – its Oscar – as the global leader in telecommunications within the next 18 months. Mark 2010 on your calendar.

    All thats needed is firm Belief, along with Faith and Patience from its dedicated employees and loyal customers for Nortel to succeed and emerge as a paradigm from the non-existant secular bear, unscathed, leaner and better positioned to leverage synergies looking forward.

    Mike Z


    January 20, 2009 at 9:29 am

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