Telecom gear manufacturer Nortel has hired Bill Nelson, an executive at EMC, as its vice president for global sales.

Nelson will assume his new post on January 18. He has more than 30 years of experience in the telecom and technology industries. He has held management positions at Lucent and A&T as well as EMC.

"In Bill Nelson, we have an executive with a track record of building businesses, delivering value to customers and leading organizational change,” said Nortel Chief Executive Officer Mike Zafirovski. “He understands the important connection between hardware, software and applications in today’s business models. Most of all, Bill knows how to compete and win in a market where IT and telecom are converging faster than ever before.”

Nelson has worked at EMC since 2001.

"Nortel will be one of the great turnarounds in corporate history, and I am jumping in with enormous enthusiasm and energy," Nelson said in a statement. "Worldwide, customers of all sizes are faced with the challenges presented by the monumental need for connectivity and applications in the hyperconnected era. They are looking for simple solutions that use cutting-edge innovation to drive business results. Nortel has the technology, the know-how and the experience needed to win, and I can’t wait to get started."

Nelson, a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, will be based in Massachusetts.

Nortel has some 2,600 employees in Research Triangle Park, N.C.