Shorter and Shorter: Enterasys Oz reprises night watchman

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IT industry trouble-shooter Graeme Shorter has taken the helm of network gear maker Enterasys's Australian subsidiary for the second time this year - filling the shoes of departing Australia-New Zealand chief Sheldon Speer while a replacement is found.

Shorter, a veteran of Digital Equipment Corporation who ran a variety of business units through the Asia region, had been appointed as the caretaker Asia-Pacific chief at Enterasys in February after Gary Jackson abruptly left the company after just three weeks in the role as its top Asia manager.

Shorter remained as the Enterasys Asia-Pacific boss until a replacement for Jackson was found.

When Singapore-based Attley Ng was subsequently hired as the company's new Asia-Pacific president in July, Shorter happily re-acquainted himself with retirement.

Now, with Australia-New Zealand managing director Sheldon Speers having resigned 10 days ago, Enterasys has again called on Shorter to man the corporate trenches. He has been appointed as Special Advisor to Asia-Pacific president Ng, responsible for the Enterasys Networks Australia-New Zealand operations.

Based in Sydney, Shorter will manage the local Enterasys Networks operations until a replacement for Speers can be found, and will ensure there is a "smooth transition" to the yet-to-be-found managing director.

The Enterasys Asia-Pacific operation has endured a nightmarish 12 months.

First, the high-profile Jackson was appointed to the role of Asia-Pacific president of Enterasys, only to leave three short weeks later - apparently after getting a whiff of financial irregularities within the regional subsidiary. Jackson walked straight into a regional role at storage giant EMC.

Shortly after, Enterasys announced that it had indeed uncovered some unusual accounting irregularities in its Asia-Pacific subsidiary, and put three senior, unnamed employees on "administrative leave".

The company was subsequently put under investigation by the powerful Securities and Exchange Commission, and has since re-stated earnings.

And through all of this period, it has been forced to cope with the sharp downturn in the market for networking products.

Shorter said he has "fallen into these roles just because I happen to know the region so well, and because I happen to know the company so well".

Shorter could not say when Enterasys expects to appoint a new Australia-New Zealand managing director, but said "the marketplace seems to be pretty flush with good people right now".

He said Speer had left Enterasys on good terms, unrelated to any of the problems concerning financial irregularities.

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