Alcatel-Lucent boss leaving as losses mount

PARIS — Alcatel-Lucent CEO Ben Verwaayen is leaving the loss-making French-U.S. telecommunications gear maker after a failed four-year bid to return it to profit.

Verwaayen said in a statement Thursday that it was “clear to me that now is an appropriate moment” for Alcatel-Lucent to seek new leadership.

The Dutchman’s surprise departure comes as Alcatel-Lucent reported losing €1.37 billion last year, compared to a €1.1 billion gain a year earlier.

No details on Verwaayen’s replacement were provided. He has agreed to stay on as caretaker until a successor can be found. Alcatel-Lucent said it will look at candidates both internally and from outside the company.

Verwaayen joined Alcatel-Lucent in 2008 after the ouster of the previous management led by American Patricia Russo. Russo and her French counterpart Serge Tchuruk had masterminded the $11.6 billion merger of Lucent of the U.S. and Alcatel of France. The combined company has racked up many billions of euros in losses since its creation in 2006, something Verwaayen has spent four years trying to reverse.

Alcatel-Lucent supplies telecom operators and corporations the technology for building global communications networks. It has suffered from repeated rounds of costly layoffs and restructuring, as well as intense competition from the likes of Ericsson of Sweden, China’s Huawei and Nokia Siemens Networks, a Finnish-German joint venture.

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  • Weder-Weder Lang

    As much as the world fears the rise of China, the rise of Huawei and ZTE are game-changers in global telco landscape. Qualcomm, which used to lord it over telco equipment makers and charge high licensing fees for its abundant treasure trove of patented technologies, has now been diminished by the Chinese duo’s efforts to wean the world off Qualcomm’s exorbitant IP. Creative destruction or disruptive technology, it all boils down to what’s good for consumers. Not just for corporate greed.

    • tanga_hanga_ni_abnoy

       globe is using hwawei and now they are suffering

      • Weder-Weder Lang

        As early as 2008, people in Smart’s NOC have also started using hwawei and ZTE components. Digitel or Sun Cellular (now Smart) has always been on ZTE and Huawei right from the start. As for Globe, aside from Huawei being a problem, they also took in more subscribers than they can serve, thereby overloading their network than it was designed for.

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