Q&A with Mike Z.

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The Globe and Mail has a Q&A today with Nortel CEO Mike Zafirovski. One of the first questions is: “Do you pay attention to all the noise, such as the blogs that focus on Nortel?”, which makes me wonder whether the question is referring to All About Nortel. :)

Sadly, Mike Z. deftly sidesteps the question by saying that “It does good to create jobs for people. With all those blogs, it is another way we are helping the Canadian economy.”

For the life of me, I have no clue what he means. I guess I was hoping he’d say something like “I love blogs, particularly All About Nortel because it’s so insightful”. One can dream, right?!

Anyway, one of the more interesting questions was whether Nortel has to make an acquisition given the speculation it made a bid for Avaya and may be interested in 3Com. Here’s what Mike Z. had to say:

“With respect to acquisitions, 80 per cent of them fail. But I’ve done 80 to 90 acquisitions in my life and I’m pretty comfortable that the majority were done well. I’m not prejudiced on where growth is going to come from – organically or through acquisitions. But we are committed to growth, and we have earned the right. Last year, we did not have the systems, the foundation, the processes to manage our company well, let alone integrate somebody else.”

If you boil down his answer, I think he’s saying “maybe”…or “yes”…or “no”.

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