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Nortel Hires a Statesman

Nortel Networks Ltd. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) has moved swiftly to fill the board seat vacated by former CEO Frank Dunn by naming former Canadian Deputy Prime Minister John Manley as a new company director (see Nortel Board Gets Manley and Dunn's Done With Nortel ).

The 54-year-old Manley, who is set to become a counsel at Canadian law firm McCarthy Ttrault LLP, has no direct experience of the telecom industry, but has dealt with Nortel in the past as an industry minister with responsibility for the telecom sector.

Manley told the Ottawa Citizen that, having announced his retirement from politics, he was looking for something "with stress attached to it."

Manley was one of three candidates competing to lead Canada's Liberal Party last year, but stood down from the race last July and announced last November he would retire from politics at the general election this June.

He also told the paper that he'd done his own "due diligence" on Nortel before accepting the post. An attention to detail, especially regarding financial matters, is just what Nortel investors will be looking for at present (see Nortel Gets Federal Subpoena, Nortel Fires CEO, Canadian Regulator Probes Nortel, and SEC Pops In on Nortel).

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