McHugh was affectionately dubbed the "Godfather of ProCurve" after overseeing the vendor's transition into a major player in the networking space. His departure as general manager in June shocked many channel onlookers, as both he and ProCurve remained tight-lipped on the reasons behind his exit.
Nortel confirmed on Friday that McHugh joined the vendor last month as general manager of enterprise solutions. He assumes responsibility for research and development, marketing and business development for the vendor's enterprise-targeted networking gear. He will be based in North Carolina and Nortel claims he will be particularly focused on energy efficiency.
Nortel recently asked US and Canadian courts to extend its bankruptcy protection by three months to 1 May. The company is keen to fend off creditors and to allow it more time to drive through the restructuring of the business.
Court documents reveal the troubled communications firm has about $2.4bn (£1.6bn) in cash and about $4.5bn in long-term debt. Despite this, Nortel has suspended plans to offload its Metro Ethernet Networks (MEN) unit.
MEN has been up for sale for several months but no bids have been made. The business accounts for about a seventh of Nortel's revenue and analysts have suggested it could be sold for up $1bn.
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