Nortel Names New CTO

The network equipment maker taps a former Cisco higher-up to plot its technology course.

Nortel is shuffling its IT department.

The network equipment giant has named former Cisco executive Gary Kunis as CTO. During the 1980s, Kunis led developments related to IP standards and routing technology. He left Cisco in 2002.

"Since leaving Cisco, Kunis has been a private investor in biotech companies and has been providing advice to some tech companies," a Nortel spokeswoman said.

Gary Kunis
Gary Kunis

Earlier in his career, Kunis helped design large data and telecommunications networks for the Department of Defense, NASA and other agencies while working for Boeing.

He graduated from the State University of New York at Binghamton with a bachelor's in Economics; he also holds a master's in Economics from Tufts University.

To make room for Kunis, current CTO Brian McFadden will become chief research officer. McFadden only held the CTO job for six months.

In his new post, the 26-year Nortel vet will oversee advanced technology, research and standards organizations. The changes are effective April 4.

Nortel CEO Bill Owens said creating two distinct technology and research and development organizations will make the Canadian company stronger.

The company is working its way back from both an accounting scandal that forced out its former CEO and several top managers, as well as the telecom equipment downturn.

On the technology side, Nortel has been partnering with its Asian counterparts.

Earlier this year, Nortel hammered out details of a joint venture to build telecom equipment with China Putian. In addition, it announced a similar deal with South Korea's LG Electronics.

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