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Alcatel-Lucent's Pat Russo, Serge Tchuruk to resign
|30 июля 2008|
Alcatel-Lucent Tuesday announced that CEO Pat Russo and chairman Serge Tchuruk will step down, after the vendor's second-quarter net loss increased by 45%.
Tchuruk, who as Alcatel's CEO oversaw its merger with U.S.-based Lucent in 2006, will leave the company on 1 October.
Meanwhile Russo will stay on as CEO while the board searches for a replacement, leaving no later than the end of the year.
"It's time for the company to move beyond focusing on the merger," commented Russo, during Alcatel-Lucent's quarterly investor call.
She said that she was pleased with the progress the equipment vendor has made during her tenure, but that an "independent and fresh perspective" is needed in order to take the business forward.
One analyst suggested that this means that Alcatel-Lucent is looking to recruit from outside the organisation.
"If they promote someone from within the company then it means they will either come from Alcatel or Lucent, which could cause internal political friction," said Seth Wallis-Jones, senior research analyst at Global Insight.
"Of course, if you recruit from outside then you run the risk of hiring someone who isn't familiar with the corporate climate, or maybe doesn't understand the direction the business is moving in," he added.
While Russo declined to go into detail about a suitable replacement, Wallis-Jones suggested one possible contender.
"Scott Kriens stepped down as CEO of Juniper Networks having led it through a high-growth period. Though he currently retains his position as chairman, he certainly springs to mind as a potential candidate for Alcatel-Lucent," he said.
The analyst said the announcement that Tchuruk and Russo were stepping down was not wholly surprising.
"This is a necessary step for Alcatel-Lucent; the market has been half expecting it for the last six months at least. The financial results after the merger weren't exactly what they were hoping for either, although it would be unfair to say that's entirely down to Russo," he said.
Even so, Russo's and Tchuruk's resignations came the same day the vendor reported that its second-quarter net loss had widened on year to €1.1 billion from €595 million.
Alcatel-Lucent's CFO Hubert de Pesquidoux said the company's profit had been hit by a €810 million goodwill impairment charge relating to a capex reduction at one of its North American carrier customers.
"It's likely to be Verizon," said Wallis-Jones, noting that the operator's recent commitment to 3G LTE technology, plus synergies resulting from its acquisition of Alltel, point to a reduction in spending on CDMA.
Revenues at Alcatel-Lucent also declined 5.2% to €4.1 billion from the €4.33 billion it reported in Q2 last year.
"We've seen a further weakening in the global macroeconomic environment," said Russo, picking up on the theme of recent results announcements from many of the industry's main players.
Russo suggested that the economic slowdown in the U.S. could start to impact investment in fixed-line infrastructure by telcos in Europe.
"We anticipate possible reduced spending in the fixed access space, there's no evidence yet, but we're being prudent," she said.
Still, Russo said she expects fresh wireless opportunities in China as the country's mobile operators extend their 2G networks, while 3G licences are expected to be awarded following the ongoing reorganisation of the telecoms industry.
Alcatel-Lucent reaffirmed its guidance for 2008, saying it expects full-year revenue to be down from 2007 in the low to mid-single-digit range.
The vendor based its predictions on a combination of continued weakness in the dollar offset by stronger than expected demand for WCDMA technology – particularly in emerging markets in Asia – and strong growth at its Services division, which saw second-quarter revenues rise 9.1% on year to €818 million.
"Alcatel-Lucent has a strong history, product line and a broad customer base which should position it to recover strongly as the period of post-merger problems and a downturn in the investment cycle in developed markets is resolved," said Wallis-Jones.
"However industry consolidation and competition from smaller vendors such as Juniper, as well as Chinese vendors such as ZTE and Huawei, which are seeing strong growth, does pose some threat," he said.
Источник: Total Telecom