RESEARCH TRIANGE PARK, N.C. — Michael Pangia, a long-time executive with Nortel, is taking over as president of the telecom gear manufacturer’s Asian operations.

Pangia will oversea operations in greater China, Japan, India, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia and Pakistan. Pangia had been chief operating officer of Asian operations.

Robert Mao, president of Greater China for Nortel, has also left the company, Nortel said.

“The Asia region presents the most exciting yet complex opportunities in our industry,” said Mike Zafirovski, president and CEO, Nortel. “Michael has a proven track record and extensive experience with the Company in multiple regions and disciplines, ranging from finance and operations to sales. I have also been very impressed with his outstanding leadership capabilities and strong desire to win which are essential ingredients to our future success.”

Pangia has worked for Nortel the past 20 years, including roles as vice president for Global Enterprise Operations and Services and vice president of Finance for Nortel’s optical business.