Investors pressuring Alcatel to replace CEO


Investors are losing patience with Alcatel-Lucent (Paris, France) Chief Executive Ben Verwaayen's performance and are pressing the ailing telecoms equipment maker to replace him, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, the newspaper said Alcatel-Lucent officials had informally approached potential outside successors to Verwaayen, though "no official outreach" had taken place.

A spokeswoman for Alcatel-Lucent read out a statement by company chairman Philippe Camus: "Ben Verwaayen is an extremely effective CEO. In spite of challenging external economic conditions, he is continuing to deliver on the Alcatel-Lucent transformation.

"The board, myself and Ben are focused entirely on that task alone."

Earlier this month, Alcatel-Lucent scaled back its profitability goal for the year, raising new doubts about the 59-year-old Verwaayen's ability to turn around the long-struggling telecom equipment maker.

Verwaayen was criticized by fellow directors when he presented the company's third-quarter results, according to the WSJ. However, after the CEO challenged the board on their support, all directors expressed their backing for him, it added.

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