Alcatel-Lucent shares jumped to their highest level in two weeks on a report that the company is close to naming a successor for outgoing CEO Patricia Russo, an Associated Press report said.
The firm declined to comment on the report in Le Canard Enchaine, a satirical and investigative newspaper, which said former top Alcatel executive Mike Quigley has been chosen to replace Russo, the report said.
Alcatel-Lucent shares rose more than 6% in early trading as investors welcomed the idea of Quigley's possible return, a year after his departure from the company for personal reasons.
Alcatel-Lucent spokeswoman Regine Coquerin declined to comment on the report, saying she 'has absolutely no information' on either the candidate's identity or the timing of the announcement, the Associated Press report further said.
Coquerin noted that in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro, Alcatel-Lucent chairman Serge Tchuruk said a decision on Russo's successor would be made quickly.
Quigley's return to Alcatel 'would be very good news,' said Odon de Laporte, an analyst at Paris brokerage CA Cheuvreux. He 'has a good track record, and he knows the industry and the company very well,' de Laporte said. 'He'd guarantee a rapid and smooth transition' of power.
At the age of 55, Quigley quit Alcatel-Lucent's management board in August 2007, after having taken a lower-profile job following the 2006 merger of Alcatel and Lucent.