Class of 2001
John Roth stood as a powerful Canadian voice in the global wireless communications industry as a driving force within Nortel Networks for more than thirty years.
Beginning as a design engineer, he progressed through a number of internal positions within Nortel and quickly advanced to the executive level. In 1993, he was appointed as President of Nortel Networks, North America. Later, as President of the Wireless Network organization, Roth played an integral role in establishing Nortel's wireless services, and also held the position of President and CEO of Northern Telecom.
Under Roth's control, Nortel became the leading engine of Canada's 1990s high-tech boom, and was the most important stock traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange, as well as one of Canada's leading employers.
Roth also served as Chair of the Premier of Ontario's Advisory Board for the Access to Opportunities Program (ATOP), a member of the Prime Minister's Advisory Board on Science and Technology, and sat on the Business Council on National Issues’ Policy Committee.
He was named as Canada's Outstanding CEO of the Year by an advisory board of business leaders and academics, and in 1998 had the honour of receiving the Emerging Markets CEO of the Year Award.
He also received the New York Hall of Science Distinguished Leadership Award for the Application of Technology to Telecommunications and Education.