Alcatel CEO Ben Verwaayen Steps Down

Ben Verwaayen, the CEO of Alcatel-Lucent, is stepping down.  Verwaayen was the CEO of Alcatel-Lucent over the last 4 years.  During his time as CEO, the telecommunications company struggled to stay competitive.  After Wall Street heard about his departure, the company’s shares jumped 7.7% in early trading to €1.40 per share.  

Alcatel-Lucent reported losing €1.37 billion ($1.85 billion) last year, compared to a €1.1 billion gain a year earlier.  He will remain as interim CEO until a successor is found.  The company is looking internally and externally for replacements.

Verwaayen joined Alcatel in 2008 after Patricia Russo was let go.  Patricia Russo and Serge Tchuruk came up with the idea to merge with U.S. based company Lucent for $11.6 billion.  The combined company hit billions of euros in losses since it was created in 2006.  Verwaayen has been trying to fix that situation over the last 4 years.

Alcatel-Lucent provides telecommunications operators and corporations with technology to build global communications networks.  The company competes against Ericsson (Sweden), Huawei (China), and Nokia Siemens (France/Germany).  Alcatel-Lucent is in the midst of a €1.25 billion restructuring program that will go towards cutting 5,500 jobs.  The company is also ending unprofitable contracts.

[Source: NYT]

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