Nortel Networks Corp., the top supplier of fiber-optic network equipment, said it will cut 4,000 jobs over the next six months as part of a plan to freeze staffing at 2000 levels and focus on its high-growth businesses. Nortel, which had a staff of about 86,000 in 2000, said the job cuts in poorly performing parts of the company will be balanced by hiring in such high-growth areas as fiber optics and wireless network technology. The Brampton, Canada-based company said the first round of layoffs includes about 750 employees in Ottawa and 200 more in Toronto, who received pink slips on Tuesday.
The news comes as Nortel prepares to announce its fourth-quarter results next week. Nortel shares rose about 7%, closing up $2.13 at $34.06 on the New York Stock Exchange.