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Wednesday, 18 May 2011 10:30

Quigley witch hunt getting noticed overseas

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The unrelenting focus on what Mike Quigley knew or did not know about Alcatel-Lucent's bribe payments is getting noticed overseas - and producing some polarised views.

In a blog posting the international managing editor of US telecoms news web site, Light Reading, Ray Le Maistre, writes: "It seems the knives are out for former Alcatel-Lucent executive Mike Quigley, who is now running NBN Co Ltd, the company that's building out Australia's next-generation broadband network'¦It seems Quigley is being subjected to a public trial in the media regarding his connection to the unit at the heart of the scandal."

Le Maistre is sceptical about the motives and merits of the campaign, saying: "Quigley was a familiar figure to Light Reading during his time at Alcatel, and many believe Alcatel-Lucent would have got off to a better start if he had been named as CEO'¦He always struck this reporter as someone who would kick the rear end of anyone he found engaging in corrupt practices, especially within his own company, and not a person who would turn a blind eye or sanction such behaviour.

"It's just possible that Quigley is currently being placed under pressure because he is at the helm of a politically contentious and expensive national project, and not because anyone actually believes he did anything wrong."

Comments on the blog neatly summarise the opposing views on the matter: One writes: "I worked for Alcatel during those years. The levels of management was insulating to the CEO. You had directors, reporting to assistant vice presidents, reporting to regional vice presidents, who reported to senior vice presidents, [who] reported to Quigley.

"I know Mike personally and I know he would have not sanctioned unethical behaviour. He was running a multibillion dollar organisation. He did not track down to the million or two, he relied on his staff."

Another believes that, as the man in charge, regardless of bureaucratic complexity the buck stopped with Quigley.

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