Pavi Binning, a veteran of the finance sector, will be the new chief financial officer at Nortel, the telecommunications gear manufacturer said Monday.
Binning will assume the Nortel (NYSE: NT) post on Nov. 12.
Hiring Binning is Nortel’s latest attempt to shore up its financial reporting unit after several restating of financials. The restatements followed the ousting of a former chief executive officer and several other members of the finance team in a scandal that has led to criminal charges against several former Nortel executives.
Binning was a CFO at Hanson PLC and Marconi PLC. He also held several roles in finance at Diageo PLC, the owner of well-known brands such as Smirnoff, Johnny Walker, Guinness and Bailey’s.
"We conducted a thorough global search for our new CFO because I wanted the right candidate for the job. We found that with Pavi Binning," said Mike Zafirovski, Nortel’s chief executive officer. "With the appointment of Pavi – a proven leader with extensive expertise in operational execution and a track record of excellence – Nortel reaffirms its commitment to fielding a finance organization that is second to none. With the foundation now firmly in place, Pavi will move the yardstick to the next level in our finance transformation, further enabling us to compete and win in the market."
David Drinkwater, who had been serving as acting CFO, will return to his duties as Nortel’s chief legal officer. Gordon Davies, the acting CLO, will return to his post as general counsel.
Peter Currie, the CFO who steered Nortel through a series of financial restatements, left the company as of April 30. Currie was among the few senior leaders in the firm not replaced by Zafirovski, who took over as CEO in November of 2005. Currie had rejoined Nortel earlier that year.
In September, the Securities and Exchange Commission expanded its legal action against former Nortel executives it alleges were involved in a financial scandal that rocked the telecommunications gear maker.
Four additional executives were charged with “engaging in accounting fraud by manipulating reserves to manage Nortel’s assets.” Added to the complaint on Wednesday were Douglas Hamilton, Craig Johnson, James Kinney and Kenneth Taylor. The four were vice presidents of finance for the optical, wireline, wireless and enterprise business units at Nortel.
Already facing charges in the case are former executive officer Frank Dunn, former chief financial officer Douglas Beatty and former controller Michael Gollogly. The original SEC case was disclosed in March.