Alcatel-Lucent appoints former Vodafone exec Michel Combes as CEO
Combes will lead an effort to decide what kind of vendor Alcatel-Lucent wants to be, according to analysts
IDG News Service - Alcatel-Lucent's board has appointed Michel Combes as the company's new CEO, following Ben Verwaayen's recent resignation.
It only took the Alcatel-Lucent's board two weeks to appoint a new CEO after Verwaayen's plan to step down became public earlier this month. Combes will take over on April 1, and will also join the company's board of directors, if shareholders approve at the company's annual general meeting on May 7.
Combes served as head of Vodafone Europe, where he was also a board member, and has worked at France Telecom.
His departure from Vodafone was announced in May last year, when it was revealed he planned to take over as CEO of French operator SFR -- but the move never materialized. SFR put out a statement in May announcing the appointment, but this was followed by a new statement a few months later confirming a different CEO following a management shake-up.
Getting a CEO who knows how operators think could be good for the struggling network equipment vendor.
"The idea of bringing on board an operator executive has some good rationale behind it," said Mark Newman, chief research officer at Informa Telecoms & Media.
The news of Verwaayen stepping down came as Alcatel-Lucent reported a fourth-quarter net loss of 1.37 billion euros (US$1.81 billion) at the end of a challenging year that saw the company swing from a profit during 2011 to a loss.
The company was taken off guard by the rapid move from CDMA to LTE in North America, a weakening GSM market in China, and the economic situation in Europe, Chief Financial Officer Paul Tufano said during the conference call presenting the results.
Combes will now have to lead an effort to decide what kind of vendor Alcatel-Lucent wants to be, and find a clearer direction for the future, according to analysts.
So far, the company hasn't gone through the same restructuring effort that competitor Nokia Siemens Networks has. It shed a number of units and laid off thousands of employees, according to Sylvain Fabre, research director at Gartner.
"The question is what the company's is strategy and how is it going to get there. Alcatel-Lucent is still at the point where it needs to formulate what the hard decisions it needs to make are, and then execute aggressively on that," Fabre said.
Newman agrees: "It is interesting to see that Nokia Siemens, even though it is still early days, seems to have had a gentle recovery by streamlining and simplifying its business," he said.
Alcatel-Lucent has said it is now planning to sell some of its units in the next 18 to 24 months. Combes' knowledge of the industry as well as his experience of business and financial transformation will be pivotal in helping the company pursue an aggressive transformation, it said in a statement.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- Shifting Gears: The Value of Customer-Driven Quality in Manufacturing In today's competitive manufacturing market, the customer must be the center of the quality universe. This paper details how manufacturers can improve customer...
- Aberdeen Group: Marketing Analytics for Manufacturing: Forging Customer Insights There are no recalls for poor marketing. Manufacturers need to get their customer intelligence and messaging right the first time. Learn how.
- The Brave New World of Customer-Centric Manufacturing The Unique Opportunity for Manufacturers to Better Understand their Consumers
- Live Webcast Increasing the Value of Your Reports and Dashboards Learn how incorporating other analytical capabilities such as predictive modeling and visualization can increase the value of your reports and dashboards by providing...
- Testimonial: Cystic Fibrosis Trust Peter Hawkins, the Head of IT for Cystic Fibrosis Trust, discusses the role CommVault's Simpana software platform plays in improving the company's information...
- Increasing the Value of Your Reports and Dashboards Learn how incorporating other analytical capabilities such as predictive modeling and visualization can increase the value of your reports and dashboards by providing... All Management White Papers | Webcasts