New Nortel CEO sees profit in 2002

Nortel Networks' new chief executive said the company will be back in the black in 2002.

Frank Dunn, who was unveiled Tuesday as the successor to John Roth, didn't specify during an interview with CBC Newsworld Business News' Jeannie Lee which quarter will see the company's return to profitability.

A Nortel employee for 25 years, Dunn is currently the company's chief financial officer. He will take over the top job as of November 1.

In May, Roth said he would step down in April 2002. Now, Roth says he will remain as the company's vice-chairman until the end of 2002.

The past year has been a tumultuous one for Nortel. As the economy slowed and customers cut their spending on telecommunications equipment, Nortel has been slammed.

Revenues have plunged, the company has posted some huge losses, and thousands of workers have been cut from the firm's payroll.

The most recent round of cuts was announced Tuesday when Nortel indicated about 19,500 more jobs will be cut. After starting 2001 with 94,500 workers, Nortel will employ about 45,000 people at the end of this year.

On Tuesday, Nortel also said it is selling off software firm Clarify to Amdocs for $200 million US in cash. Nortel paid $2.1 billion US in stock when it bought the company last year.

Dunn, however, said he isn't dwelling on how much the company paid for some of its acquisitions.

"Those aspects are behind us," he said.

With Nortel now shedding non-core businesses and refocusing its product lines, Dunn said he is the right person to lead the company.

"I think I'm tremendously qualified to drive that initiative," he said.