Nortel chief flying in corporate jet as company files for bankruptcy protection

Yours truly was totally shocked to learn that Nortel CEO Mike Zafirovski was still using a private jet, especially six days after Nortel filed for bankruptcy protection. As the company lays off thousands of workers, halts salary increases, institutes a hiring freeze, and confirms laid off Nortel employees will not be receiving their severance payments because of the bankruptcy filing, Zafirovski continued to use a private jet (often it appears to commute between a home and his office). In my personal opinion, any leader who can do that while the company is crumbling around him: Has got to go!

The good news is that Nortel is in talks to get rid of the plane, which was grounded earlier today, according to a report by Reuters, which also added that Nortel was unable to say when its private jet was last used. Source: FlightAware View the cabin interior of a Bombardier Challenger 605 corporate aircraft. After some digging (thank you Mark Evans, author of the fabulous All About Nortel Blog, for pointing me in the right direction), I was able to determine that the last flight of Nortel's private jet was Tuesday morning, flying from Chicago to Toronto. It appears that Nortel CEO Mike Zafirovski commutes on the jet from a home in Chicago to an office in Toronto. Examination of the jet's activity logs over the past 5 months has revealed that Chicago accounts for over 27% of the jet's visits. The following is a list of all airport visits (58 visits in total), by Nortel's private jet over the past 5 months:

Toronto, Ontario Canada (Lester B. Pearson Intl Airport, CYYZ) - 22 visits. Chicago/Waukegan, Illinois (Waukegan Rgnl Airport, KUGN) - 16 visits. Pontiac, Michigan (Oakland County Intl Airport, KPTK) - 7 visits. Teterboro, New Jersey (Teterboro Airport, KTEB) - 4 visits. Morristown, New Jersey (Morristown Muni Airport, KMMU) - 3 visits. White Plains, New York (Westchester County Airport, KHPN) - 2 visits. Washington, DC (Washington Dulles Intl Airport, KIAD) - 2 visits. Williamsport, Pennsylvania (Williamsport Rgnl Airport, KIPT) - 1 visit. Phoenix, Arizona (Phoenix Sky Harbor Intl Airport, KPHX) - 1 visit.

Reading page 41 of the Nortel Proxy Statement (Schedule 14A) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 27, 2008, reveals:

M.S. Zafirovski The incremental cost of personal travel on the company aircraft and commercial airlines principally related to commuting ($136,262), personal use of ground transportation ($25,595).

Last Flight of Nortel's Private Jet Source: FlightAware Activity Logs of Nortel's Private Jet

Source: FlightAware

Page 1 of Nortel's most recent Form 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission reports that Nortel had a operating loss of $1.188 billion for the 3 months ended Sep.30, 2008. Yet Nortel CEO Mike Zafirovski continued to commute to work on a private jet. It is my opinion that Nortel needs a leader who can present to Nortel employees a personal example of fiscal responsibility; ostentatiously commuting to work on a private jet while your company suffers over a billion dollar operating loss (heck, even 6 days after filing for company bankruptcy protection that also froze severance payments to laid off company employees), is outrageous!

Don't be shy, do you agree with me that Nortel's CEO has got to go or do you believe he should stay? BradReese.Com Cisco Refurbished

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