Alcatel-Lucent has announced it is appointing ex-BT CEO Ben Verwaayen to replace CEO Pat Russo, who stepped down earlier this year along with chairman Serge Tchuruk.
The troubled telecoms equipment provider struggled to digest its merger of Alcatel and Lucent in 2006, and has been steadily restructuring and cutting jobs ever since. Last year it announced a total of 16,500 job cuts.
Verwaayen has a Lucent pedigree, having worked for the company in 2002 where he was vice-chairman. During his time at BT he led it into the broadband market and away from being a ‘copper and switch’ telco, and was instrumental in the push towards the company’s 21CN IP-based network.
In a statement Verwaayen admitted he had a difficult task ahead of him, but committed to turning the company’s fortunes around.
"I’m truly delighted to become the CEO of Alcatel-Lucent, leading a company with vast assets and great talents, while recognising the difficulties and challenges ahead,” he said.
“I am committed to building significant and sustainable value for our shareholders, customers and employees.”
Alcatel-Lucent’s board also appointed former CEO of European Aeronautics Defence and Space (EADS) Philippe Camus as non-executive chairman.
“Philippe Camus has experience in several high-tech global industries, including the fast-growing media sector,” the board said in a statement.
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