Alcatel-Lucent snaps up former Huawei executive to head up Italy

Alcatel-Lucent has appointed former Huawei executive Roberto Loiola as the new president and CEO of Alcatel-Lucent Italy--a role that also includes responsibility for Greece, Malta and Cyprus.

Loiola headed up the Chinese company's Western Europe division from 2010 until last month, and previously worked at Nokia and the former Nokia Siemens Networks, now the Networks division of the "new" Nokia following the sale of the Finnish company's devices unit to Microsoft.

Alcatel-Lucent employs 1,900 staff in Italy, and reported revenue there of €727 million in 2013 (out of total worldwide revenue of €14.4 billion). It operates R&D laboratories and production facilities in the country, and has a local headquarters in Vimercate.

"Taking the lead in such an innovative company such as Alcatel-Lucent in Italy and other countries of reference is a challenge that I take with pride and enthusiasm," said Loiola, who noted that the sector is currently facing an important transformation process.

Indeed, Alcatel-Lucent has been forced to undertake some radical changes of its own due to this industry transformation: the Shift Plan introduced by group CEO Michel Combes in June 2013 has already started to bear fruit, after the company reported its group net loss fell by almost 80 per cent to €73 million ($101 million) in the first quarter of 2014, from €353 million a year previously.

In June 2013, Combes said the key objectives were to reduce fixed costs by €1 billion, cut another €1 billion in costs mainly through asset sales, reduce debt by €2 billion from the current level of €5.6 billion, and redefine a further €2 billion of debt that is close to maturity. The company also unveiled plans later in 2013 to cut 10,000 jobs by 2015.

In February, Alcatel-Lucent reported its first quarterly profit in two years after it moved back into the black in the final three months of 2013. Net income in the fourth quarter of €134 million overturned a €1.5 billion loss in the same quarter of 2012, while the vendor's full-year loss fell from €2 billion in 2012 to €1.3 billion in 2013.

For more:
- see this Alcatel-Lucent release

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