Alcatel Suffers First Merger Casualty

Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) has suffered its first post-merger executive casualty following the news it is to merge with Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU). (See Alcatel/Lucent: No Job Cut Clarity Yet and Alcatel, Lucent Seal Deal.)

Jacques Dunogué, President of Alcatel Europe & South (which covers Europe, Middle East, Africa, India and Latin America), and a member of the vendor's executive committee, has already left the company. According to insiders he contacted close colleagues to say he was leaving last weekend, just as the Lucent deal was being officially announced.

An internal memo from Alcatel CEO Serge Tchuruk was sent around the company on Wednesday morning announcing Dunogué's departure.

His immediate replacement is Etienne Fouques, previously President of the Mobile Communications Group. Marc Rouanne steps up from his role as COO of the mobile division to become its new President.

An Alcatel spokesman confirms there was "a brief internal announcement that M Dunogué has left to pursue other interests," and that Fouques has taken on the Europe & South role.

What isn't confirmed, though, is what happens next with such a senior role, and why Dunogué left so suddenly. Fouques has been named as a member of the post-merger management committee, where he will supervise the emerging countries strategy. That suggests that the current Europe & South role will be broken down once the merger is completed, with Fouques retaining much of the job's geographic coverage, though not Europe.

The insiders' hot favorite to add management responsibility for Europe appears to be Olivier Picard, another executive board member and currently President of 'Area 4,' which covers telecom operations in France, Africa, Middle East and South Asia.

As for Dunogué, reports from inside Alcatel suggest he was hoping to get the role of COO in the newly merged Alcatel/Lucent, but that post was handed to his chief internal rival, Mike Quigley, a decision that left Dunogué little choice but to leave. Dunogué's departure, though, has reportedly not gone down well in the Paris HQ, where Alcatel staff had been asked to hold tight until the merger is completed, a process expected to take between six and nine months.

Alcatel declined to comment any further on Dunogué's departure.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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