The John Roth Question

So, Nortel is suing Frank Dunn; Frank Dunn is suing Nortel – and ex-CEO John Roth is living a bucolic life in Caledon, Ont. with a large estate and an expensive car collection. Does it seem strange that Roth appears to have escaped the accounting scandal that has engulfed Nortel over the past two years? In the 10-K, Nortel states the independent revenue review determined the company's financials had been manipulated going as far back as 2000 – when Roth was CEO and Dunn was CFO. The obvious questions should be: did John Roth know the books were being cooked or was he oblivious to the fact his underlings were making things look better than they really were? You have to remember that in early-2001,Roth was bullishly talking about Nortel going after $40-billion in revenue and stealing market share from rivals. A month or so later, Nortel disclosed that business had suddenly disappeared. This has always been a huge mystery. What happened during that period? How did Nortel's salespeople, business development folks and senior executives have no clue that customers were going to pull the plug on purchases? I mean, one day the sales environment is robust; the next day everything evaporates? Anyway, you have to wonder if John Roth will ever be questioned about what happened. You figure there has to be someone out there none too pleased about the fact Roth made $135-million in 2000 from salary and options just before the telecom party ended.

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One Response to “The John Roth Question”

  1. Just Curious Says:

    > You have to remember that in early-2001,Roth was bullishly talking about
    > Nortel going after $40-billion in revenue and stealing market share from
    > rivals. A month or so later, Nortel disclosed that business had suddenly
    > disappeared.”

    Exactly….. I remember this too…..

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