AlcaLu Appoints New Americas Exec

Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) announced today that former Openwave Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: OPWV) CEO Robert Vrij has been appointed as the new head of the Americas Region, effect immediately. (See AlcaLu Hires Openwave Exec.)

The news comes on the day before Ben Verwaayen is due to present his first quarterly results as the giant vendor's new CEO. (See Verwaayen Takes the Helm at AlcaLu, Big Ben Plays It Safe, Big Ben's Jet Ban, and The Diary of Ben V., Age 56.)

Vrij replaces Cindy Christy, who resigned from the company early last month for personal reasons, and will report directly to Verwaayen. He will be responsible for AlcaLu's sales and operations in North America, the Caribbean, and Latin America. (See Christy Quits AlcaLu .)

The timing of the appointment is important, because when Alcatel-Lucent reports third quarter results tomorrow, the health of the North American market is expected to be in the spotlight. The main focus will be the outlook for the vendor's CDMA business in North America, which has consistently been a drag on results.

In the second quarter, AlcaLu reported its sixth straight quarterly loss and took a one-time, non-cash impairment charge of $1.28 billion against its CDMA business. (See AlcaLu's Q2 Dragged Down by CDMA and AlcaLu Looks to China .)

So, as the new head of the Americas business, Vrij has a big job ahead of him to deal with the declining CDMA business in North America.

It's sort of a homecoming for Vrij, as he's a onetime AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) employee who eventually became head of Lucent's Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) operations. He left that post in 2002, eventually ending up in the ranks of what's now Genband Inc. (See General Bandwidth Adds Some S&M.)

Vrij took over as CEO of mobile browser and gateway software company Openwave in March 2007, resigning in April this year. (See Openwave Replaces CEO and Openwave Change a Harbinger?)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading

COMMENTS Add Comment
OldPOTS 12/5/2012 | 3:28:27 PM
re: AlcaLu Appoints New Americas Exec Are they desperate?

gbmorrison 12/5/2012 | 3:28:24 PM
re: AlcaLu Appoints New Americas Exec I would say desperate does not even begin to describe it.
mojo01 12/5/2012 | 3:28:21 PM
re: AlcaLu Appoints New Americas Exec I canGÇÖt believe it. I thought the goof got thrown out of OpenWave for cooking the books. Why would ALU hire him after that??
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