Motorola, Nortel settle Zafirovski dispute

Motorola, Nortel settle Zafirovski dispute

Nortel and Motorola have settled a lawsuit over the hiring of former Motorola COO Mike Zafirovski as Nortel CEO.

Nortel Networks has agreed to pay $US11.5 million as part of a lawsuit settlement with Motorola over the network vendor's hiring of Mike Zafirovski, formerly Motorola's president and COO.

Motorola launched the lawsuit earlier this month, just days after Nortel announced it had picked Zafirovski to be its new CEO.

Citing non-compete agreements, Motorola sought to prevent Zafirovski from working at Nortel for two years and to block him from hiring Motorola employees at his new company.

Under the terms of the settlement, Zafirovski and Nortel had agreed not to recruit Motorola employees and to limit Zafirovski's communications with certain unnamed companies, some of which are Motorola customers.

The settlement also limits Zafirovski's ability to advise Nortel on competitive strategy or analysis relative to Motorola, Nortel said in a statement.

Zafirovski must also repay his former employer $US11.5 million in separation money.

Nortel said it would reimburse its new CEO for this payment.

The settlement clears the way for Zafirovski to succeed Nortel President and CEO, Bill Owens, a transition that was scheduled to occur on November 15.

He will be taking over a company that has been rocked by a downturn in the telecommunications equipment market and a financial scandal that led to the firing of a number of Nortel's top executives, including former CEO, Frank Dunn.

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