This is an internal e-mail that Mike Zafirovski issued about the Hackney “incident”.
“All of us at Nortel have an obligation to act with personal and professional integrity. These behaviors are the hallmarks of great leaders and great companies. I place as high a value on integrity and ethics as I do our goals of driving superior performance and business results.
As many of you know, there has been great concern recently because of an incident involving one of our co-workers and a leader, Joel Hackney. Given the nature of this incident I want to personally restate our commitment to ethics and integrity and share the action we have taken.
Last October, following a basketball game that he attended with his wife and children, Joel was involved in an incident that resulted in him entering into a consent agreement, which means he is required to complete certain actions by May 2007 before the charges will be completely dismissed.
Nortel takes this incident very seriously and, for the last six days, Chief Compliance Officer Bob Bartzokas has led a rigorous review involving numerous external and internal interviews (the internal interviews were with employees in and outside of Joel’s organization). This process was comprehensive in nature and I want to assure you that we took full account of all the employee input and response we’ve received regarding the incident.
Bob and the Compliance Committee completed their review and concluded the October incident was isolated. The Committee recommended certain appropriate actions and advised the board of directors of its findings and recommendations. The specific details of the actions will remain private, as they would for any Nortel employee.
Joel deeply regrets this incident and the impact it is having on everyone concerned. Knowing my intent to update you today, he asked me to share the following statement:
“I want you to know that I am taking full responsibility for the consequences of my actions. I have also communicated my personal apology to Ms. Ogden. I know this incident has caused embarrassment for my family, my employer and my co-workers. I am truly sorry.”
Joel is a leader with an important mandate who will need to continue to challenge his team to perform at world-class levels while exemplifying our leadership and core values. His track record includes very strong results and his leadership capability has been validated by employee assessments (as recent as December 2006), which included feedback from all of his direct reports. That said, I know Joel is taking this incident very seriously and will use it to work to become an even better leader.
I am absolutely confident of Joel’s ability to execute our business objectives, and he has given me his full assurance that he will hold to the highest ethical and professional standards expected of a Nortel leader.