Alcatel-Lucent CEO steps down
Alcatel-Lucent chief Ben Verwaayen is to step down in May after failing to improve the company’s performance.
The decision was made during a board meeting on Wednesday ahead of the publication of Alcatel’s financial results. The ailing equipment maker made a net loss of €1.2 billion in the last three months of 2012.
Philippe Camus, chairman of the Alcatel-Lucent Board, said the company had already begun the search for a replacement and will be looking at both internal and external candidates.
“Alcatel-Lucent has been an enormous part of my life. It was therefore a difficult decision to not seek a further term, but it was clear to me that now is an appropriate moment for the Board to seek fresh leadership to take the company forward,” said Verwaayen.
Alcatel had a difficult 2012 having faced increased competition from Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE as well as lower telecoms equipment spending from telcos.
The vendor’s shares have fallen 70% over the last five years and it has been forced to pursue over 5,000 job cuts as well as €2 billion of loan financing to remain competitive.
Alcatel announced positive free cash flow of €355 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 but was still negative €679 million for the year.