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Optical/IP

Russo Rules at Lucent

It's official: Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) is Pat Russo's company. This morning, at its annual shareholders meeting, Lucent announced that its president and CEO, Russo, has succeeded Henry Schacht, as the company's chairman (see Schacht Out, Russo In at LU).

The move was widely expected. Russo took the president and CEO role at Lucent about 13 months ago, after a picturesque stint as president and COO at Eastman Kodak. At the time, Henry Schacht vowed to stay on at Lucent "for as long as I can be helpful."

"Henry Schacht returned to Lucent at the end of 2000 and laid out a plan that has allowed this company to weather many storms," says Russo in the company press release.

Schacht will remain on Lucent's board as an outside member and will continue to help Russo on items such as the company's Everest-high pile of pending litigation. "Pat really wants to concentrate on running the company, and Henry is well qualified to help with the company's defense against shareholder lawsuits," says a Lucent spokesman.

Since taking the helm at Lucent, Russo has cut thousands of jobs, lopped off several stagnant product lines, and formed unheard of industry alliances in an effort to make Lucent a simpler, profitable company (see Lucent & Cisco: Together at Last, Lucent Silences SpringTide, Lucent Chops TMX 880, and Lucent to Cut Headcount, Products). Her actions have cut Lucent's expenses by more than $4 billion, the company says.

Of course, all that restructuring costs a pretty penny. According to SEC filings, Russo has taken a $1.8 million bonus, in addition to a base salary of $1.2 million, for her work at Lucent. She's also gathered millions in stock options and restricted stock shares (see Lucent Fat Cats Gorge in 2002).

And while Russo was working her magic, Lucent's stock price has fallen like flan in a cupboard. Last year the company's stock traded below $1 for a time and faced the risk of delisting (see Lucent Dabbles Under $1).

But, on the heels of Russo's title change, Lucent's shareholders voted today to give the board the authority to perform a reverse stock split anytime within the next year in order to help the company lift its share price.

Lucent shares closed down $0.02 (1.12%) to $1.77 on Wednesday.

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading
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optigirl 12/5/2012 | 12:37:01 AM
re: Russo Rules at Lucent Not to mention the blatant lack of objectivity of the writer.

That's why we have Reporters, Editors and Op/Ed columnists. Each has a different set of responsibilities and should really stick to them.
puddnhead_wilson 12/5/2012 | 12:37:01 AM
re: Russo Rules at Lucent Couldn't resist distracting the reader from an otherwise well written overview article with a silly verb choice, I see ...

"Lucent shares skyrocketed up $0.01 (0.6%) to $1.80 ..."
eyesright 12/5/2012 | 12:36:58 AM
re: Russo Rules at Lucent Phil,

Don't worry.

I'll never associate you with serious business journalism.
DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 12:36:58 AM
re: Russo Rules at Lucent re: "Not to mention the blatant lack of objectivity of the writer."

No, let's mention it. How was my article biased?

(And don't confuse a breezy and informal writing style with bias.)

Thanks,
ph
DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 12:36:57 AM
re: Russo Rules at Lucent Nor should you. "Serious" business journalism is dreadfully boring.

ph
BenGrahamMan 12/5/2012 | 12:36:56 AM
re: Russo Rules at Lucent I thought it was a fine article. heck, not alot to write about, but surely some fine words.
RJ-45 12/5/2012 | 12:36:55 AM
re: Russo Rules at Lucent The only people worth reading nowadays are Op/Ed columnists. So called reporters and editors behave more or less like functionaries...


"Not to mention the blatant lack of objectivity of the writer.

That's why we have Reporters, Editors and Op/Ed columnists. Each has a different set of responsibilities and should really stick to them."
digerato 12/5/2012 | 12:36:55 AM
re: Russo Rules at Lucent LR's style is to be opinionated -- i.e. to editorialize. This is a conscious decision by LR and they've done it since inception -- why did you expect anything else?

I did like "fallen like flan in a cupboard". Only a Brit (or someone who spends way too much time with Brits) could have written that one.

Digerato
BobbyMax 12/5/2012 | 12:36:55 AM
re: Russo Rules at Lucent The things that has brought misery and destruction to Lucent cannot be taken lightly. Millions of shareholders and employees. Some investors have lost every thing they had.

"Dr." Henry Schacht entered Lucent throgh backdoor when he used to serve on AT&T Board. It is not clear why he was chosen to serve on the AT&T Board. To the best of my knowledge Schacht has not contributed anything to Lucent. "Dr," Schacht was responsible for hiring Russo. When Russo was enthroned the stock used to trade at about $10.00 share. But as she came on board the stock plumetted below one dollar.


Rosso is a sales lady. So she relies others to do her job? Is this kind of person should head the company. The answer is No. She has been collecting huge salary, bonus and stock options. Where is Lucent going?

When a company recruits just anyone without any regard to education and qualifications, the company would suffer. The practice of hiring unqualified people must stop. If this practice continues, we will not be able to sell our goods in the international market. These are sad days of corruption in the history of our country.
lightfantastic 12/5/2012 | 12:36:54 AM
re: Russo Rules at Lucent What about the other unheard of ones - Juniper or Procket? It was been several weeks since those rumors started, anyone have an idea what's going on?

-l
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