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Nortel to pay millions to ex-CEO Owens -filing

Reuters
December 2, 2005

TORONTO, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Nortel Networks Corp. (NT.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) (NT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) will pay former Chief Executive Bill Owens a $2 million lump sum severance and millions more in bonuses, it said in a regulatory filing on Friday.

The telecom equipment supplier said the "severance allowance" was equal two years of his base salary.

Nortel will also pay Owens a lump sum amount equal to twice his annual bonus of 170 percent of his base salary. Using the $2 million figure, this would work out to an additional $3.4 million.

The Brampton, Ontario-based firm said Owens will also receive a pension benefit over a guaranteed period of five years.

The pension will start with a $703,913 payment in June 2006 and equal monthly payments after that of $99,073 through November 2010.

Other payments will include nine weeks of his base salary for unused vacation, some relocation and tax preparation costs, and an acceleration of the vesting for all of Owens' 2.9 million stock options.

Owens joined Nortel in April, 2004, after its top three executives were fired "for cause" as part of an accounting scandal. Nortel was forced to correct several years of financial statements that were later shown to have been manipulated to trigger bonus payments.