Richard Lowe still holds title job as president of Nortel Networks Corp.’s wireless networks business. But does he expect to be out of a job soon or is he just getting a financial jumpstart, again, on his colleagues, in case Nortel has money left over for creditors?
Here’s why we ask:
U.S. bankruptcy court documents unveiled this month show that, in August, Lowe filed a creditor claim of $676,407.79, All About Nortel reported on Monday. Of that, Lowe wants $671,745.55 to recover certain retirement benefits under the Nortel pension plan, and another $4,661.24 to recover employer contributions to the long-term investment restoration plan.
It seems odd for a current employee to file a claim against his current employer; at the same time, though, everyone, from pensioners to debt holders, is trying to get a piece of Nortel.
Lowe’s claim is particularly interesting, though, in light of his well-timed withdrawal last year of more than $1 million from a deferred compensation fund. Lowe took out the money less than two months before Nortel filed for bankruptcy on Jan. 14, prompting many an observer to wonder if he had inside information. Hundreds of other employees didn’t withdraw before Nortel went Chapter 11, meaning they lost that money altogether while Lowe walked away with a hefty sum.