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Alcatel-Lucent CEO and chairman both resign

Patricia Russo and Serge Tchuruk, the executives that led each company into the merger, are both leaving Alcatel-Lucent

Alcatel-Lucent’s CEO Patricia Russo plans to step down before the end of the year, and Chairman Serge Tchuruk will quit on Oct. 1. Russo will stay on until the board finds a replacement, the company said Tuesday.

With the two-year-old merger now complete, the company needs a smaller board and new management aligned to its business going forward, according to Tchuruk. He has decided to lead by example and resign, he said.

The departure of the Alcatel-Lucent’s two figureheads, each CEO of one of the pre-merger companies, will allow the new company to acquire a personality of its own, Tchuruk said.

Other departures from the board will surely follow, as the company seeks to slim down the board while simultaneously introducing new members with industry expertise. The first to go is Henry Schacht, CEO of Lucent before Russo took over, who will leave with immediate effect.

Russo, meanwhile, said she is pleased with the progress the company is making on its cost-cutting program and on growing revenue in a difficult market, but had decided the time was right for her to step down.

Alcatel-Lucent’s second-quarter revenue dropped 5.2 per cent year on year, to US$6.47 billion, dragged down by currency fluctuations. At constant exchange rates, revenue would have risen 1.7 per cent, the company reported Tuesday.