Paris-headquartered telecoms equipment manufacturer Alcatel-Lucent today announced the imminent departure of Chairman Serge Tchuruk and Chief Executive Pat Russo, following a string of profit warnings and plummeting share prices in recent weeks. The decision to oust the two Alca-Lu executives marks the latest phase of upheaval at the company, created from a transatlantic merger two years ago. Russo, long rumoured to be on the way out, will leave before the end of the year while Tchuruk, the architect of the merger, will leave on 1 October, the firm said in a statement.
Shareholders have heaped criticism on the group’s two directors and recently approved measures that would make it easier to oust them. Alca-Lu’s announcement was timed to coincide with the publication of its financial results for the period April-June 2008 which showed that revenues and profits beat market expectations despite a major net loss in the quarter due to write-downs. The manufacturer posted adjusted operating profit of EUR93 million (USD146.5 million) in the period under review compared with a loss of EUR19 million in 2Q 2007. The performance fared favourably with a Reuters poll which forecast the group to book second-quarter operating profit of EUR64 million. Alcatel-Lucent’s April-June net loss of EUR1.1 billion was impacted by a EUR810m write-down from its CDMA operations.