Nortel cuts 3,200 more jobs, tries to sell off chunks

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Following its recent decision to cut 1,800 positions, Nortel announced today that it intends to shed a further 3,200 positions within the next few months. The company is also trying to drop its equity-based compensation plans, but hopes to balance the loss with retention and incentive bonuses for key essential employees. Presumably, these new benefits will not be based in Nortel stock, which is currently trading on the TSX for 8 cents a share.

This latest downsizing comes a day after Nortel sought court approval to hire analysts from Mercer compensation consulting, which charges rates ranging between $225 and over $800 per hour. The hope is that Mercer will help Nortel restructure itself following its January decision to seek bankruptcy protection. That move, which caused the company's stock to plummet by 79%, has led to the massive drop in staff, as well as attempts to sell off significant portions of the business. Following its January decision to drop WiMax and its agreement with Alvarion, Nortel announced today that it is seeking approval to sell its Alteon division Radware, an Israeli information technology firm.

Even as the beleaguered company tries to find a way to emerge victorious from the ashes of its current crisis, many analysts have noted that Nortel's problems extend far beyond the current economic malaise. The general argument seems to be that the company's leadership has been fatally flawed, and has somehow managed to find famine in the midst of a decade of telecommunications feast. It remains to be seen if the company can survive this latest downturn, or if the piecemeal sale of its businesses and firing of its personnel reflect the final steps in a final decline.
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