Canadian telecommunications company Nortel has raided Siemens for its director of compliance for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Emea).

Nortel has appointed Sally March, who was head of legal at Siemens Business Services Media (SBSM), for the new position.

March said: “The compliance role didn’t exist here before. I was attracted by the chance to build something new.”

Regulatory pressures from Sarbanes-Oxley, the EU and the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges led to the creation of the role.

March is responsible for financial compliance, as well as managing Nortel’s ethical and environmental responsibilities from Nortel’s Emea headquarters in Maidenhead.

She will investigate any personnel complaints reported within Emea and keep Nortel on the right side of the EU’s environmental regulations that govern the materials used in telecoms hardware.

March reports to Bob Bartzokas, the company’s chief compliance officer, who is based in the US.

Previously March was head of legal at BBC Technology, which Siemens bought in October 2004. She left the company in December 2005 to take time off. In-house lawyer David Kerr took over as head of legal at SBSM when March left.

March tended to use Olswang at her last job, but has no plans to work with law firms in her new role.