Former BT chief joins Alcatel-Lucent

VerwaayenAlcatel-Lucent, the French telecoms company, has appointed former BT chief executive, Ben Verwaayen as its new chief executive. The company hopes Verwaayen’s appointment will help to streamline the struggling phone company.

He replaces Patricia Russo, who is leaving the company. Alcatel has also appointed Phillipe Camus, a former joint chief executive of European Aeornautic Defense and Space Company, as non-executive chairman.

Verwaayen, who takes over on October 1, was chief executive of BT for six years and left his job in June this year. Alcatel-Lucent hopes that his experience in the telecoms industry will help bring the company back into profit. He will be based in the company’s Paris office.

The company’s board says that it hopes his “experience and understanding of the industry and it challenges and opportunities” will help to develop the company.

Verwaayen’s departure from BT led to a restructure of the senior management. Ian Livingstone, who previously managing director of BT Retail’s consumer division, was promoted to chief executive. Gavin Patterson, the head of managing director of BT Consumer, moved into Livingston’s previous role. Matthew Deardon, previously director of voice services, was promoted to marketing director of the consumer division.

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