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Optical/IP

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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dorothy 12/5/2012 | 3:03:37 PM
re: Quigley, D'Amelio out at AlcaLu Just to be clear, I did not compare those folks to Mike. The question from Phil was who else to watch. Cindi Christy and Hubert DePequidoux are two more leaders worth keeping an eye on.

Delphi - If you can't even spell Ron's name, how can you be so sure that you know the quality of all the talent in ALU, or who to attribute success to? Genuinely curious. His last name is Spithill.

Losing Mike is dreadful for ALU - there is no question anywhere about this. But Mike would be pretty disappointed in ALU and in those who have long been loyal to him if they did not move on and succeed without him. And he'd be a pretty poor manager if he had not built a strong team under him as well.

Mike is young - perhaps he'll show up in a top job elsewhere after a nice break?

In the meantime, there is indeed a looming crisis for Pat and Serge if they can't figure out how to retain talent -- the key issue in a merger. It is absolutely true that there is no obvious successor. But the finger should point at Serge, not just Pat for that.

tmc1 12/5/2012 | 3:03:37 PM
re: Quigley, D'Amelio out at AlcaLu Mike was a great guy and a real asset to the company. He was a great friend to TiMetra/IPD and will be missed.

PS - Delphi, you obviously don't really know the TiMetra team because as Ben said, this is an A+ team that has integrated well with the Newbridge guys and the Belgians and the combined ALU IPD group is a formidable competitor.
ozip 12/5/2012 | 3:03:37 PM
re: Quigley, D'Amelio out at AlcaLu OZIP knows Mike, a super mate but an even better executive. Pat the hack will do the same to Alcatel that she has done to all the other companies she has run.

RIP Alcatel, good luck Mike.

OZIP
Ben Crosby 12/5/2012 | 3:03:37 PM
re: Quigley, D'Amelio out at AlcaLu Delphi,

I don't want to get into any kind of flame war - I think it would detract from the real subject of discussion - Mike's departure, and we're all entitled to our own opinions.

That being said, I know Basil reasonably well, and many of the folks at Timetra. They are a fantastic team, and in no small part are cause (rather than effect) of ALA's success in IPTV. Don't forget, the acquisition of Timetra was very much a part of Mike's vision.

Also, some of the other names mentioned, I have met, spoken with or interacted with, including Michel, Fred, Tom and Martin. Dorothy is probably (evidently?) an ALU insider who knows some of the folks there. The four I know are key individuals with great skills. I can't compare them to Mike, since I don't know them as well, nor would I do so in a public forum.

As an aside, although not totally unrelated - I think loyalty is a dying attribute in large corporations. It's important for senior management of any company to remember that loyalty is usually to an individual or group of folks rather than the corporate entity.

In any company there are those visible at the top, and many who make it happen. Mike instilled a sense of loyalty, commitment, and excitement that simply made things happen. I've never met anyone like him.

Once again, I venture my ten cents as an individual rather than a corporate voice...

Ben.
delphi 12/5/2012 | 3:03:37 PM
re: Quigley, D'Amelio out at AlcaLu Last Retort

Alcatel would have no traction in Asia if it were not for Ron Spithall (sp?). Olivia is far from a raising star and at best is a decent mid level manager. The stars of Asia for Alcatel are long gone -- and Pat has no replacements.
gocowboys 12/5/2012 | 3:03:37 PM
re: Quigley, D'Amelio out at AlcaLu Mike Quigley was personally responsible for much of the vision and market success of Alcatel over the years. There is no one else in the organization that is at his level in terms of vision, insight and communication skills.

Many of the best and brightest are leaving or being pushed out (I am guessing the later with Mike) as the political machinery of Lucent takes hold of North America.

Anyone who thinks the organization will seamlessly replace Mike is outside the know.
delphi 12/5/2012 | 3:03:36 PM
re: Quigley, D'Amelio out at AlcaLu The critique was on my spelling which I acknowledged, very late at night my time! Pretty lame. Its a message board.

Good and decent people appear better than they are under great leadership. None of the people mentioned are under achievers, they are just not ever going to be the next market leaders.

True leadership is rare. Getting up every day and doing your job reliably is expected but does not mean you are leading. How many IP routers does the world need?

Again, just follow the product line sales numbers to see how things are going.

Alcatel will not go under as their footprint is too large. The question is how far will they fall.
old-man 12/5/2012 | 3:03:36 PM
re: Quigley, D'Amelio out at AlcaLu I have not seen many comments as yet to the fact that both departures were announced in a single message. My guess is that Frank was definitively looking for a new job, and that a peer from the other side had to be sacrificed to keep the balance. However that may be, I consider this "co-incidence" a signal that people at this level are still being looked at as ex-AL or ex-LU, rather than ALU. That is not good.
inside_out 12/5/2012 | 3:03:36 PM
re: Quigley, D'Amelio out at AlcaLu Phil,

Here goes a hint.
Michel Rahier.
Used to be the Wireline man - Wireline group
is delivering the numbers quarter over quarter, while the others groups are not. Note he took over the Carrier Group. Basil was below him at Wireline.
Look at who will takeover the Wireline Rahier chair.
Rahier mission - clean up the house.
Pat is one quarter from home.
rahat.hussain 12/5/2012 | 3:03:35 PM
re: Quigley, D'Amelio out at AlcaLu I have enjoyed this discussion quite a bit, given some good insider insights. I was made a believer by Dorothy with her/his insights on key management personnel.

However, the bubble burst when Cindy and Hubert were mentioned as great talent!! Cindy is a good sales manager, not a top telecom exec - no vision, no insights into market movements. Hubert is good, but has moved around many a times - mostly finance type-guy. It is time for people to wake up and raising the bar on what it takes to becoming a key exec at multi-billion dollar telecom companies where the sands of technology and customer needs change constantly.

Back on topic, good luck to Quigley - he WILL definitely show up as a key exec. He reminds me of Volpi - and will show up at a new broadband business that is related to, but not in, telecom.

odo
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