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Nortel Networks has announced its chief operating officer is to take medical leave in order to recuperate from the effects of a serious assault.

Clarence Chandran is to take six to 12-month medical leave of absence from the networking manufacturer in order to recover from recent surgery.

Chandran has undergone surgery twice in the past few months which was aimed at addressing injuries he sustained in a knife attack in June 1997.

The 52 year-old was seriously injured while struggling with three burglars who broke into the Singapore house he was living in at the time. Chandran suffered stab wounds to his upper abdomen and neck and is taking the leave of absence on medical advise, following complications arising from reconstructive surgery.

In his absence, Chandran's responsibilities as chief operating officer by Nortel's chief executive John Roth. The firm hopes he will make a full recovery and in the meantime expects Chandran will be able to continue to serve as a director at the Canadian network giant.

The chief operating officer is the number two role in Nortel's corporate hierarchy, and carries responsibilities for the day-to-day running of the firm, including sales, marketing, R&D and customer care. The integration of acquisitions, human resource and running internal IT systems also fall under the chief operating officer's umbrella at Nortel. ®

External links:
Nortel's statement on Chandran's medical leave of absence
Chandran's biography

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