Alcatel-Lucent appoints former Goldman Sachs partner as CFO

Telecoms equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent has announced that Jean Raby will become its new chief financial and legal officer on September 1.

Raby is set to take over from current chief financial officer Paul Tufano, who is departing amid further organizational changes at the company, aimed at reducing its activities to a smaller number of profitable areas.

Telecoms equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent has announced that Jean Raby will become its new chief financial and legal officer on September 1.

Raby is set to take over from current chief financial officer Paul Tufano, who is departing amid further organizational changes at the company, aimed at reducing its activities to a smaller number of profitable areas.

Raby was previously a partner and managing director at the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs (New York City, NY, USA), and before that worked as an associate attorney at Sullivan & Cromwell (New York City, NY, USA) between 1989 and 1996.

Chief executive Michel Combes said his financial services background would be of great value to Alcatel-Lucent (Paris, France) as it embarks on its latest overhaul.

“His extensive knowledge of the industry and his deep understanding of global financial markets in the widest sense will be of great value as we drive ahead with the implementation of the Shift Plan announced in June and in particular our objectives to reach €1 billion ($1.33 billion) of selective asset sales, €2 billion of debt refinancing and €2 billion of debt reduction before the end of 2015.”

The manufacturer has struggled ever since its formation from the merger between France’s Alcatel and US-based Lucent and, like other long-established equipment makers, has been hit especially hard by the rise in competition from Asia, and particularly China’s Huawei (Shenzhen) and ZTE (Shenzhen).

Nevertheless, in its earnings report for the three months ending June, it reported some encouraging signs of progress.

Revenues were up by 1.9%, to €3.6 billion, compared with the same period of 2012, thanks to strong sales of IP, LTE and vectoring products, although a decline in sales of traditional equipment largely offset these gains.

The company’s net loss also widened to €885 million, from €396 million a year earlier, due partly to restructuring and impairment charges related to its Shift Plan.

“We are at the beginning of our journey towards 2015 and cash remains a challenge,” said Combes in commenting on the results. “Looking ahead, our clear focus will be maintaining a strict and disciplined approach to implementing the Shift Plan across industrial, operational and financial dimensions.”