September 2, 2016
Telecoms equipment provider Alcatel-Lucent has appointed ex-BT boss Ben Verwaayen in a bid to turn around its ailing fortunes.
Philippe Camus, a co-managing director at Lagardere media group, has been appointed as non-executive chairman.
Alcatel and Lucent, together the world’s largest provider of fixed line telecoms networks, merged in 2006.
Since then, the Franco-U.S. alliance has seen its market value fall over 60% with six straight quarterly of losses. Total losses exceed $7 billion.
French and American branches of the business have failed to co-operate since the merger, and a number of high profile employees have resigned from the company.
Verwaayen will replace outgoing CEO Pat Russo who has been at the company since the merger.
Camus will take over from Serge Tchuruk on October 1st, and will retain his position at Lagardere.
56 year old Verwaayen turned around the fortunes of BT during his 6 year stint at the telecoms giant, axing 5,000 jobs, fighting off attempts to break the company up, and redirecting its focus to broadband and IT services.
Together Verwaayen and Camus will have to cut costs at the company and fight off increasing competition from rivals, including China-based Huawei.
Verwaayen will be based in Paris, and will receive a salary of €1.2 million, rising to €1.8 million dependent on performance.
Alcatel-Lucent’s share price rose 0.8% this morning following the announcement.