Alcatel-Lucent has appointed ex-Vodafoner Michel Combes as its new CEO to replace Ben Verwaayen this April and turn the company’s fortunes around, following a troubled 2012 that saw its net losses swell to €1.374bn.
Combes was previously CEO of Vodafone Europe and over the course of his career has held the positions of Chairman and CEO of TDF as well as Chief Financial Officer and Senior Executive Vice President of France Telecom.
“Alcatel-Lucent is an unrivalled technology leader in the telecommunications industry with an immense array of talent and capabilities in R&D facing major challenges,” said Combes.
“This is a company I know well and I look forward to succeeding Ben, working with the key international customers, and driving the business into sustained profitability for its customers, employees and shareholders.”
Verwaayen’s departure was revealed earlier this month after Alcatel-Lucent posted a 5% annual drop in revenues for 2012, with a small improvement by its Software, Services and Solutions (S3) division unable to compensate for bigger declines by both its Networks and Enterprise businesses.
Alcatel-Lucent is currently focused on completing its Performance Program in 2013, which involves reducing the firm’s overall headcount by 5,500 jobs by the end of 2013, and plans to deploy resources to customer relationships and in product areas where it can “drive an economic return for our shareholders”, according to Verwaayen.