Nortel Networks Reviews | Glassdoor

Nortel Networks Reviews

Updated February 15, 2017
532 reviews

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Nortel Networks President, Nortel Business Services Chris Ricaurte
Chris Ricaurte
112 Ratings

532 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • It was a truly healthy place to work, people were great and work life balance fantastic (in 34 reviews)

  • The work environment was great, the career opportunities very good (in 34 reviews)

Cons
  • Only the sad part that was on chapter 11 and been bought by Avaya (in 16 reviews)

  • disappointing end to a great company (in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Mike z just does not understand our company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior H/W Design Engineer in Raleigh, NC
    Current Employee - Senior H/W Design Engineer in Raleigh, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The first level management in my organization are VERY good. They understand our product, customers and employees. Our organization as a whole within Nortel cannot be surpassed. The former second level manager for our product knew the customers personally and took responsibility in getting issues resolved in a timely manner. The team worked as a single group and help each other out in both the production and support of the product. The Nortel that this group had followed the six core values that Nortel posted and also lived the motto of own the product. This will soon end due to upper management.

    Cons

    The senior management team. They do not understand our product or customers. The current directives are going to destroy the company and alienate our customers. The Senior management WILL get their 20+ % raises, however. The senior management see the elusive margins increase of outsourcing without seriously considering the ramifications. The direction the company is currently pursuing does not install confidence in the products or the support that will be provided in the future. As a shareholder, I have not been impressed with the returns that have been provided and see only reasons for a long-term drop in its value.

    Advice to Management

    Start thinking about our product and customers and not about YOUR bottom line....


  2. "Nortel leadership is among the worst to ever exist."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lean Six Sigma Black Belt in Billerica, MA
    Current Employee - Lean Six Sigma Black Belt in Billerica, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There is no good reason to work at Nortel Networks. However, the ability to work from home makes life at Nortel a bit more tolerable. In fact it is the one reason why I am still working at Nortel.

    Cons

    The leadership is among the most poor I've ever had the displeasure to work for. They are constantly pushing Lean Six Sigma, Black Belt project down our throats and they themselves don't adhere to Lean Six Sigma basic principles. They seem to forget to take the time to talk to and involve the employees with the most experience and greatest understanding in the Six Sigma effort. It has become, like most everything in Nortel, a who knows whom exercise in popularity leaving out the most qualified to lead the effort to correct whats ailing Nortel.

    Advice to Management

    Clean house among your rank and at the V.P. and director levels. It's a good old boy network working for there own survival rather than the greater good of the company and the rest of the Nortel employees.


  3. "No hope..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Richardson, TX
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Richardson, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Nortel used to be an excellent place to work but it is not the case any more.
    In the past few years, things have gone from bad to worst especially under the leadership of Mike Z. The fun of doing the work has completely been destroyed.

    Cons

    The biggest problem is management incompetency and insincerity. It is a shame if this once great company has to go under.

    Advice to Management

    Top 10 senior management should volunteer to lower their compensation to $1 a year each. Recognize that blindly application of six sigma without understanding the nature of Nortel's products is a waste of time and resources.


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  5. "Survivor - Nortel (Last one gets to turn the lights off)."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dallas, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Nortel has still some good people which is why I would ever work there. They have good health, 401k plan. Good industry level matching. Used to be good to work on real advanced research and development.

    Cons

    Layoffs, Layoffs, layoffs. It is still called Survivor - Nortel. Nortel has drained most of its brain power during this layoffs. The people and brain cells which created bleeding edge technology are gone. It is a bare bones company with no real future. The core R&D is really reduced, and now that is planned to be outsourced to China.

    Advice to Management

    1. Focus on your core competencies and stop second guessing your decisions.
    2. Stop making management changes every few months, that does not help employee moral. Directors, VP are move around every few months, it makes everyone nervous.
    3. Don't think outsourcing will reduce your cost. Outsource does reduce some cost when you start, but will reduce product quality and in turn have issues show up in front of customers. It will be too late.
    4. Start doing what Nortel did when they were Bell labs, Northen Telecom, research and development.


  6. "It is very sad to see a once vibrant company turned into such as grim place"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Rather Not Say in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Former Employee - Rather Not Say in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Most co-workers were extremely competent. The dedication and loyalty of the employees is amazing considering the depressed environment. The company used to be a great place to work with lots of perks and possible too many perks.

    Cons

    Geez, where to begin? The current CEO cost the company millions of dollars when he took over because of a non-compete disclosure and this was at a time the company could not afford to spend a lot of money. I still haven't seen any results that justify that spend. The executive team is constantly changing and with each change in leadership the employees of the company would have to repeat the mistakes of the previous leadership. There is no way to convey to the leadership that their "grand ideas" were tried numerous times before without success. There is no consistent governance over spending and expenses. Some groups within the company are allowed to spend large amounts of money, generally on unnecessary expenses while other groups are having to dip into their personal finances to buy necessary supplies. The executive team is costing the company too much money as they continue to spend on their own projects without regard to whether or not the end product is economical or essential for the company. Even in the "glory days" the company allowed too many individual groups within the company to develop unnecessary projects, especially IT, without an oversight committee to review the need or duplicity of the project. The office environment is like a morgue, especially since the massive layoffs. People don't acknowledge each other when passing in the hallway. One rarely hears laughter anymore and it is very sad to see a once vibrant company turned into such as grim place.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to the employees, especially the ones that have been with the company several years. Don't think just because something worked at another company that the same thing with work for Nortel. This is a company on life support and your employees are your best asset and should be treated as such instead of a liability. Stop wasting the company's time and money on projects that have failed in the past. Use your creative ability and think out of the box on this one. It will take extraordinary measures to pull this company out of the abyss.


  7. "A once-proud company going down for the second time."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Developer in Richardson, TX
    Former Employee - Senior Software Developer in Richardson, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    A player in the cutting edge of technology. Good educational opportunities. The possibility of advancing in management rapidly (if that is your career goal).

    Cons

    Authoritarian management, sometimes ridiculous work hours, poor place for advancement for purely technical people. If you are not a manager, you are treated as a piece of equipment, to be used and then discarded. Poor quality of products.
    Management focuses entirely on deadlines, and products are rushed to market with little or no testing and are consequently of very poor quality. Time that could be spent on doing the job right the first time is instead spent on patching a very flawed program so it works at some minimal level of reliability.

    Advice to Management

    Treat people as assets to the company, not liabilities. Focus on long-term goals, not just the closest deadline. At this point, however, it may be too late......


  8. "Nortel was a great company, but all things come to an end due to poor leadership."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Richardson, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Richardson, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    not many of the last few years.

    Cons

    spiral tumble since the financial scandal, stupid ideas never helped us recover.

    Advice to Management

    They must puch back to the executives, informing them what is not working, rather than being YES men.


  9. "Non stop layoff"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Engineer in Santa Clara, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Engineer in Santa Clara, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexbility . Working from home all the time. No pressure since all talents left and no competition. All levels of management is currently looking for job as well.
    It used to be a great place to work prior than year 2000 . But it went down like a roller coaster. It even got worse since the Mike Zs ninja leading styles. Company is full of black belt projects and no real work.

    Cons

    All talents left already . This is a sinking boat. Chapter 11 already and Chapter 7 is on the way soon. Layoff is currently happening every week and no one knows who is the next turkey on the dinning table.

    Advice to Management

    All need to Leave ASAP. Mike Z and Joe would stay until the end ???


  10. Helpful (1)

    "What A Mess"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Architect
    Current Employee - Software Architect
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Was once a great company and still has many great people working for it at the lower levels.

    Cons

    All the top managers and execs are lost in their own bonus-mad bubble. They have run this once great company into the ground with their arrogance and incompetence.

    Advice to Management

    Find some other line of work - don't do this again to any other company in the future!


  11. "An Engineer's nightmare for the last 10 years"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Former Employee - Senior Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Salaries at Nortel Networks were above average and the company was very friendly to telecommuters if your position made that possible. But for the last 10 years, those are the only 2 nice things anyone could say about Nortel.

    Cons

    Beginning with the .com crash, Engineers at Nortel went from being a cherished asset to being hourly supervised workers except without the hourly overtime pay. The level of work that the management demanded meant 10-12 hour days on the average and about 2 weekends a month. If engineers balked at that, it was ominously hinted at that they were "not team players" and were probably on the list for the next round of never ending layoffs.The best and brightest engineers left in droves and those that were left were micromanaged almost to death and made to feel like peons. Then they canceled the Pension plan , gave no raises for a full 8 years (except of course for the Senior Management), and provided progressively shabbier health/dental/vision plans. Then, when everyone thought it couldn't get worse, they declared bankruptcy and reneged on everyone's promised severance package and threw thousands of good engineers out into the worst depression since the 1930s.

    Advice to Management

    There was no discernible leadership at Nortel so it would be pretty hard to think of advice to give them.



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