Alcatel-Lucent CFO leaves in management change

Alcatel-Lucent CFO leaves in management change

Alcatel-Lucent's head of enterprise systems, Hubert de Pesquidoux, will take on the role of chief financial officer

Alcatel-Lucent's head of enterprise systems, Hubert de Pesquidoux, will take on the role of chief financial officer as part of a management shake-up intended to streamline decision-making. The company has suffered from lackluster performance since its formation from the merger of Alcatel and Lucent Technologies last December.

CEO Patricia Russo announced the changes Wednesday, at the same time outlining a three-point plan for restoring the company to profitability. The company also reported a third-quarter loss of Euro 345 million (AU$535.8 million) on revenue of Euro 4.35 billion.

Russo will in future be advised by panel of seven senior executives, down from 11 before. Just two of them are former Lucent employees: Cindy Christy, who will add Central and Latin America to her existing responsibility for North American sales, and John Meyer, head of services, a role he held at Lucent.

The merging of North America with Central and Latin America in Alcatel-Lucent's sales structure is part of a broader move to simplify the way the company sees the world, splitting it into just two regions: the Americas, and the rest.

Former CFO Jean-Pascal Beaufret is "leaving the company to pursue other opportunities," but will remain for a short period as he hands over to de Pesquidoux. It wasn't immediately clear if de Pesquidoux would also remain head of the enterprise systems group or if Alcatel Lucent would seek someone else.

De Pesquidoux, a former merchant banker, is also part of the new management team. He used to run Alcatel's North American operations before taking over the merged company's enterprise systems division. Although enterprise systems is the smallest of the company's business units, contributing just Euro 380 million of its Euro 4.35 billion revenue last quarter, it is the best performing, with an operating profit margin of 7.6 percent.

The remaining members of the management team are Chief Technology Officer Etienne Fouques, head of human resources and communications Claire Pedini, carrier business group head Michel Rahier, and Frederic Rose, who heads up the company's business in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.

Rahier will oversee one of the biggest changes in the company's product structure, as it eliminates the layer of management that divided the carrier business group into separate wireless, wireline and convergence teams.

Other changes ahead for the company include a tighter focus on products to help carriers transform their networks to an all-IP (Internet Protocol) infrastructure, a move from products to value-added services, and a more streamlined organization with fewer staff in support functions to eliminate post-merger duplication.

Pedini's role in human resources is particularly significant as the company prepares to shed a further 4,000 jobs by 2009, having already cut 3,800 in the first half of this year. Her approach is likely to focus on the numbers -- the company hopes the job cuts will save it a further Euro 400 million -- rather than the people, as she worked for four years as Alcatel's deputy CFO, only taking on the role of vice president of human resources and communications in January 2006.

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