AlcaLu Exec Still in Limbo

With the year's biggest and most important mobile industry event just weeks away, one of Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU)'s most respected wireless and IMS specialists, Marc Rouanne, is still without a specific role within the vendor giant following its recent management reshuffle.

When AlcaLu revamped its senior team (and reorganized its Carrier Group) on October 31 last year, Rouanne -- who had been at the helm of AlcaLu's Convergence division (IMS, UMA, VOIP), and previously president of Alcatel's Mobile Communications activities -- became an executive without portfolio. (See AlcaLu's Floaters, Russo Shakes Up AlcaLu's Top Team, and AlcaLu Revamps Its Carrier Business.)

More than two months later, Rouanne, a young, well respected executive who had impressed as the head of Alcatel's pre-merger mobile business, is still, according to AlcaLu, "transitioning to a new position within the company."

With the upcoming World Mobile Congress (or 3GSM 2008, as the masses are calling it) in Barcelona only five weeks away, it's uncertain whether Rouanne will, as he has done in previous years, be displaying his formidable (some might say combative) presentational style.

While we wait to hear of Rouanne's next role, AlcaLu has confirmed that a number of its senior folk will be making their way to Barcelona for the wireless industry jamboree, which begins on Monday February 11.

Those jet-setters include the head of the vendor's Carrier Group, Michel Rahier, who recently outlined the company's wireless backhaul strategy, and Basil Alwan, who is now head of Portfolio Strategy as well as king of the IP division. (See AlcaLu Expands Alwan's Role and AlcaLu Targets Wireless Backhaul.)

And in case you had forgotten, AlcaLu's top job in mobile was handed in October to former Lucent executive Mary Chan, who has two divisional heads reporting to her: Mike Iandolo, head of CDMA Networks; and Philippe Keryer, head of Mobile Access (GSM, WCDMA, WiMax, and LTE). All three are expected to be in Barcelona next month, though none has, as yet, an official speaking slot during the conference.

Chan has her work cut out after the vendor's wireless infrastructure business underperformed in 2007. That weakness, in the face of intense competition from the likes of Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Nokia Networks , and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , contributed to the vendor's string of disappointing financial quarters, which in turn resulted in profit warnings and further job cuts. (See AlcaLu Cuts 4,000 More Jobs, AlcaLu Cuts 2007 Outlook by $1.25B, Alcatel-Lucent Slumps on Q2 Loss , AlcaLu's Russo: We're Under Attack!, and Merger Tears Into AlcaLu's Sales.)

Lehnich lands transformation role
The other AlcaLu executive who was left floating last October has been handed a new role, though.

Martin Lehnich, who had been in charge of Worldwide Integrated Supply Chain and Procurement, was also left dangling following the October reshuffle. Now, though, he has been handed a "key role" in a new part of AlcaLu – the Transformation Office.

The vendor explains in an email to Light Reading: "At this point in our evolution, our strategy for profitable growth requires an intensified focus on transforming [AlcaLu's italics] our business as we simplify, streamline, and reduce our cost structure to be more competitive. To enable this mission, the Transformation Office has been established under the leadership of Janet Davidson, and Martin Lehnich has a key role in this new office."

Davidson is also one of the chosen few to sit in on AlcaLu's senior management committee meetings, acting as secretary to the vendor's top team of CEO Pat Russo plus seven executives.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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