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AlcaLu CEO Rumor Reprise

9:45 AM -- The rumor du jour about who will replace Pat Russo as Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU)'s CEO is that Mike Quigley tops the list of candidates. A report in French weekly newspaper Le Canard Enchaine [ed note: That's "The Chained-Up Duck"] says that AlcaLu's nomination committee wants to propose Quigley to be the next CEO. (See Who Will Replace Russo? and New AlcaLu CEO Soon.)

The report comes a day after outgoing chairman Serge Tchuruk told French newspaper Le Figaro that he expected the new chairman and CEO to be appointed "very quickly."

Quigley left AlcaLu a year ago to return to his home in Australia. When he left the company, his role was president of science, technology, and strategy, but before the merger with Lucent he was president and COO of Alcatel. (See Où Est Mike Quigley? and Quigley, D'Amelio out at AlcaLu.)

Light Reading finds that his name is almost always mentioned by Alcatel people in the context of CEO candidates. But we think it's unlikely that he'll step back into the fray.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading

Stevery 12/5/2012 | 3:33:50 PM
re: AlcaLu CEO Rumor Reprise Here's a test for the next CEO: Stick the word "Chainsaw" in front of the name. If it makes sense, then it's a valid candidate.

The problem facing the BoD is that none of the restructuring gurus want to touch this thing with a 10-ft pole, because the first thing that needs restructuring is the BoD.
HomerJ 12/5/2012 | 3:33:49 PM
re: AlcaLu CEO Rumor Reprise Indeed, whoever takes the role basically has to layoff a pile (10K+ I would think) of people, the majority of those to be U.S. based.

Who would want their name associated with that? I'm sure you can pay someone a shedload of cash to do it, but they'll never work again (just ask Carly) after all those layoffs so it would have to be a large shed.
Canard 12/5/2012 | 3:33:30 PM
re: AlcaLu CEO Rumor Reprise Erratum: In my previous post I made a reference to Alain Bernard. In fact I meant Daniel Bernard (Alain Bernard is a French swimmer who won three medals in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Daniel Bernard is a former CEO of Carrefour)
Canard 12/5/2012 | 3:33:30 PM
re: AlcaLu CEO Rumor Reprise The french media report these days that there is another parameter that needs to be included in the equation: the remuneration issue and the impact it could have politically on the french population & shareholders.

Need a bit of background here...

Mike Quigley was a long-time Alcatel manager and had even been tipped to take over from Serge Tchuruk as the CEO of Alcatel. Correct. However, according to "Le Canard Enchain+¬" Mike Quigley was granted just before he left the group a "retraite chapeau" (i.e. a pension topped up to a contractually agreed percentage of final salary) that cost $15 million to Alcatel, "a decision which is not public" (sic) explains a company's spokeperson today. And the satirical paper to conclude that "Receiving $15 million for a delay of just 12 months, we have seen worse situationsGǪ"

The committee within AlcaLu's board in charge of finding a successor to Pat Russo is led by Daniel Bernard, who may not want to select a candidate that could recall the past remuneration scandale that he generated himself in 2005.

Mr Bernard, now a director at Alcatel, was a former CEO of Carrefour, the 2nd or 3rd retailer globally after wallmart. He is famous in France for his exceptional golden parachute obtained at his departure in february 2005 from Carrefour which cost 38 millions dGÇÖeuros (x ~1.5 to get the equivalency in $) to its former company. Mr Bernard was ousted in a shareholder revolt after presiding over a protracted slump and sliding stock market price. The sum was presented by thundering headlines in the French press as over 1,000 times the annual salary of a Carrefour check-out operator. Colette Neuville, president of the Defence Association for Small Shareholders, then said the French system was "perverse", encouraging chief executives to make a mess of the companies they run. "If they are kicked out, they get a 'golden parachute'. But if they do well, they don't get any such payment, and so its almost an incitement to botch the job".

Mr Breton (another candidate to the job at AlcaLu... its a small world) was the then country's finance minister GǪ he said (at that time) that he shared public outrage over this one and other similar fat-cat packages for ousted executives agreed by an incestuous boardroom elite...

For all these reasons, I think that Mike Quigley does not have the right profile to replace Mr Russo (from the perspective Alcatel's exclusive club ... sorry board)
NeuronHammer 12/5/2012 | 3:33:27 PM
re: AlcaLu CEO Rumor Reprise Seeing these sums, I am still going mad over how incapable and how incompetent the European managers down to the Department Head handled the voluntary leaving programs in 2007.

People got screwed over sums less than 0.3% of the upper mentioned sum of 15.000.000Gé¼. These unprofessional managers in a lot of European countries (German sites in particular) denied the voluntary program to nearly all people who wanted to leave voluntarily with the craziest reasons and excuses, so especially younger employees called it quits without the money package. What a joke of an official voluntary program.

I quote one Lucent-site-leader speaking to an R&D-audience: "Everyone can leave voluntarily and I make sure that you can go into the voluntary program". One day later I had an already booked date for this, and, oh, Mr.site-leader was not accessible for me anymore, but I shall go to Mr.R&D-leader instead who convinced me either to call it quits without money or to stay in his shit-R&D-organization that was driven by him against the wall full steam ahead. As said, deceived for less than 0.3% of the upper Quigly payment.

However, a woman, who just came back from maternity leave, was pressed out with telephone calls, personal talks with all sorts of HR-leaders/department leaders and all kinds of brainmassage, until she finally signed and left the company "voluntarily".

Thank you, Lucent/Germany.
observe1 12/5/2012 | 3:33:27 PM
re: AlcaLu CEO Rumor Reprise The french media confirmed tonight that Mr Quigley did not make it. They are to announce that they have chosen frenchman Philippe Camus and former BT Ben Verwaayen. Any way nothing will change in this company until they fully change the BoD. A fish rots from the head.
observe1 12/5/2012 | 3:33:26 PM
re: AlcaLu CEO Rumor Reprise The first public indication that Ben Verwaayen was approached, maybe to start preparing for the job, was made back on april 25 2008 by "La Lettre A", a french news letter. To me, the decision of Daniel Bernard to choose Ben Verwaayen was made probably sereral weeks ago. Rumors regarding Quigley, Breton etc. were just a way to occupy the media's eyes and mouths elsewhere.
Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:33:26 PM
re: AlcaLu CEO Rumor Reprise The first public indication that Ben Verwaayen was approached, maybe to start preparing for the job, was made back on april 25 2008 by "La Lettre A", a french news letter.

Yes. We'd reported the original Verwaayen chatter back in April:

http://www.lightreading.com/do...

To me, the decision of Daniel Bernard to choose Ben Verwaayen was made probably sereral weeks ago. Rumors regarding Quigley, Breton etc. were just a way to occupy the media's eyes and mouths elsewhere.

Possible. Who knows. AlcaLu's official story today is that the decision was made Sept. 1. Their press release:

http://www.lightreading.com/do...
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