Industrials : Alcatel-Lucent
ALCATEL-LUCENT, the Paris-based telecom equipment maker was created in 2006 when France’s ALCATEL merged with US’s Lucent Technologies, the equipment arm of AT&T. It is a leading company in enabling the internet to function worldwide.
However, ALCATEL-LUCENT has not been profitable every year since the merger. In April 2013, the company appointed as CEO Michel Combes, a former student at the prestigious Ecole Polytechnique in Paris and previously the CEO of Vodafone Europe. He introduced a three-year turnaround plan called the ‘Shift Plan’ to refinance, restructure and reposition the company on the IP network, Cloud Computing and ultra-broadband fixed and mobile access. The IP products are installed by telecom operators to carry the increasingly heavy traffic generated by web surfing.
More than 40% of ALCATEL-LUCENT’s revenues come from the US. In Europe, Michel Combes advocates a consolidation of service providers so that they are strong enough to invest as in the US. He says that there are 120 telecom companies in Europe compared to 4 major ones in the US.
After one year, there appears to be a good execution of the plan which aims to make ALCATEL-LUCENT the world’s leading telecom equipment maker. In August 2014, it will pay back a loan of €1.6bn which was secured on its patents.
The company has 30000 patents, most of them from the famous Bell laboratories in the US which in the past have made significant scientific advances in the telecommunications industry. In his ‘Shift Plan’, Michel Combes puts the accent on relaunching the company’s innovation machine.
The Plan also involves the sale of €1bn of assets by the end of 2015. The company will also be floating its subsea cables unit while keeping a majority stake in it. The CEO says that this unit is the world leader in producing and laying undersea cables for telecom companies.
Sources : ft.com, Bfm Business, wsj.com
Online publishing, September 9th, 2014