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Verwaayen heralds Alcatel-Lucent turnaround

Alex Scroxton

Alcatel-Lucent has appointed ex-BT head Ben Verwaayen as its new CEO just weeks after Verwaayen ruled himself out of the running.

The appointment of Verwaayen to replace outgoing boss Pat Russo also quashes talk that former Alcatel-Lucent COO Mike Quigley would return to the company, which some parties had speculated was a done deal.

Verwaayen will take up the post from 1 October. In a move that might appease French shareholders - who famously booed Pat Russo at an investor event - he will be joined at the helm by French national Philippe Camus, formerly co-CEO of EADS, who will become the non-executive chairman.

Alcatel-Lucent will also be hoping that Verwaayen, whose tenure at BT heralded a dramatic turnaround, can pull off the trick twice in a row. The Dutchman already has experience with the firm, having previously done time both with Lucent Technologies and, back in the 80s, Alcatel predecessor ITT.

Verwaayen said: "Alcatel-Lucent has a lot to offer: technological excellence, leading market positions worldwide, in developed as well as emerging countries, and a strong customer focus."

Verwaayen affirmed his commitment to building sustainable value for shareholders, employees and customers, while acknowledging that there would be "difficulties and challenges" in the coming months.


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