Quigley, D'Amelio out at AlcaLu

Don't say we didn't warn you, but Mike Quigley is officially leaving Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU).

Today AlcaLu announced the long-expected departure of Quigley, once Alcatel's president and COO, along with the not-so-expected departure of Frank D'Amelio, the company's chief administrative officer.

D'Amelio is taking the CFO job at Pfizer, which makes Pfarmaceuticals. And Quigley, whose final title at AlcaLu was President of Science, Technology and Strategy, has decided to leave the company and return to Australia, the company says in a statement today.

While definitely a bummer for the hordes of old Alcateliers loyal to Quigley, the analyst team at Dresdner Kleinwort notes that both Quigley and D'Amelio weren't being used to their potential by the current management team at AlcaLu. "In their current capacities, however, neither Quigley – renowned for his technology insights and project skills – nor D'Amelio – an articulate, numerate and powerful executive – had much influence on Alcatel-Lucent's operations," the analyst team writes in a note release today.

Not to say these gents weren't well liked and universally respected, but AlcaLu's CEO Pat Russo says their departures will be easily absorbed by the management ranks that remain.

"We are well served with a strong bench of top executive talent that we can draw upon as well as an extensive set of resources that we believe are unrivalled in the industry," says Russo, in a company statement.

While there's no doubt AlcaLu does have lots of talented managers, some can't help but wonder whether the departure of these two signals that something's amiss. Quigley and D'Amelio were the right-hand men to the CEOs of their previously standalone companies. And while Quigley's leaving was a little more expected, some analysts say its time to watch closely what's going on with AlcaLu.

"This is not a good sign for Alcatel-Lucent," says Heavy Reading analyst Sterling Perrin. "The loss of D’Amelio is much more surprising as he has been playing a critical role in the integration of the two companies, post merger, and I can’t see how this is a logical time to step down from that post."

Etienne Fouques, currently head of the Carrier Business Segment, will take over Quigley's Science, Technology and Strategy job, AlcaLu says in a statement. He will also oversee the Services Business that's headed by John Meyer.

Stepping in for Fouques at the Carrier Business Segment is Michel Rahier, the current head of the Wireline Business Group. AlcaLu says the individuals who previously reported to Fouques will now report to Rahier, so adjust your own org charts at home accordingly.

Christian Reinaudo, together with Janet Davidson, will take over Frank D'Amelio's job of making sure the Alcatel-Lucent integration is progressing as scheduled, while keeping the laugh-out-loud stories of corporate waste and confusion to a minimum.

AlcaLu shares were up $0.25 (2.35%) to $10.87 in mid-afternoon trading on Wednesday. The company's share price is down 24 percent year-to-date.

Quigley, a subject of many Light Reading articles and interviews, was always informative and a good sport, even when we were clearly getting on his nerves. Here's a quick recap of our Quigley coverage, starting with his promotion in 2005 to president and COO of Alcatel:

— Phil Harvey, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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billy_fold 12/5/2012 | 3:03:40 PM
re: Quigley, D'Amelio out at AlcaLu N'est pas?

OldPOTS 12/5/2012 | 3:03:39 PM
re: Quigley, D'Amelio out at AlcaLu Here comes the French second string.

Ben Crosby 12/5/2012 | 3:03:39 PM
re: Quigley, D'Amelio out at AlcaLu Phil,

It was great to read an article that had everything in perspective for a change. Well written.

Speaking for myself, It's interesting that a company like Alcatel-Lucent should so easily brush off the rare breed of talent that Mike Quigley has. It no doubt sends an interesting message to "the hordes of old Alcateliers loyal to Quigley" - Surely if the merged company struggled to keep Mike, they will struggle to keep others.

I'm glad I had a chance to work with him. It's a sad day for a lot of the hordes, and a happy day for Mike. I wish him all the best.

delphi 12/5/2012 | 3:03:39 PM
re: Quigley, D'Amelio out at AlcaLu I want to endorse Ben's comments and expand. Mike is one of the few senior execs who will take calculated risks with the results obvious to all. The selection of the current CEO made no sense, and the results to date speak volumes. Alcatel is a ship adrift and the Captain and officers have zero navigation skills. The ill fated law suit against MSFT in hopes of bringing in free money is just one example of grasping at air. The ship of fools is now well and truly launched.
DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 3:03:39 PM
re: Quigley, D'Amelio out at AlcaLu Interesting comments, guys. Thanks. We are, of course, fond of Quigley and I imagine he'll be tough to replace.

But, as AlcaLu moves on, who are the new rising stars there?

We've written a lot about the Timetra guys over the years. Any others we should look out for?

delphi 12/5/2012 | 3:03:38 PM
re: Quigley, D'Amelio out at AlcaLu Forget to mention.

I am sure all of us can ignore and downgrade 30% of the market. A market that is solid and predictable.

Good luck in Asia which is dominated by China, an amazingly stable and predictable market.

delphi 12/5/2012 | 3:03:38 PM
re: Quigley, D'Amelio out at AlcaLu Walking on the bones of those who did.

Not a talent among them.

It does not require brilliance to milk the cow already in the pasture.

The key is either to increase the herd, or steal a herd of cows from someone else.

The trend is obviously not in their favor.

Back benchers who snipe and when in control do not know what to do.

Managing an existing business is not creating new businesses.

Again, look to product line sales trends, if they will disclose them.
dsb 12/5/2012 | 3:03:38 PM
re: Quigley, D'Amelio out at AlcaLu Before D'Amelio does to pfizer what he did to lucent!!!
delphi 12/5/2012 | 3:03:38 PM
re: Quigley, D'Amelio out at AlcaLu TiMetra is a good team, not a great team. They had a nice bump on the back of the MSFT IPTVE/Alcatel relationship which created most of their sales. However they are far behind Cisco and Juniper, and now with the Ericsson purchase of RedBack are in danger of slipping off of the radar. Their sales peaked several months ago and their firm belief in MPLS over all is counter to where the main carriers are going for Metro. If this is the best and brightest --- go figure.
dorothy 12/5/2012 | 3:03:38 PM
re: Quigley, D'Amelio out at AlcaLu Hi Phil,

Michel Rahier is a disciple of Mike's, and was Mike's chosen COO - he will do a great job in his new role. Fred Rose who runs APAC has done a tremendous job over the past several years, first growing ALA's services business into a real integration business, and now growing APAC sales at a faster rate than the overall market (up >20% YoY last Quarter). Tom Burns who runs Enterprise business unit is a strong leader and as knowledgable on IP as Basil. Basil remains a key star. If they can retain him, Alain Biston is the key exec that came over with the Nortel UMTS acquisition, and is a star as well. Olivia Qiu in China is a rising regional exec worth keeping an eye on. Martin Lehnich who runs supply chain is a really impressive manager as well.

North America is no longer the center of the telecom universe. In fact, it represents less than 30% of the global market, and is no longer the place where trends emanate from. By the by, that's been the case for over a decade. So I encourage you to look beyond your borders at people as well :-) The execs I mention above comes from across the world, and have backgrounds that range from American to French to Belgian, to Chinese and more.

There's a lot of talent in ALU - there are amazing brains and skills throughout the company in virtually every corner. Losing Mike hurt, but it won't stop them by any means if they can harnass the power of their many great minds.
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