Alcatel-Lucent chief Ben Verwaayen has revealed plans to step down from the company, as the struggling vendor reported a €1.37 billion ($1.83 billion) net loss for 2012.
The company announced that Verwaayen resign as CEO after this year's AGM, which is typically held in June. He will not seek re-election as a director.
Verwaayen was appointed CEO in September 2008, with an aim of bringing reliable profitability to the company created from the - so far ill-fated - merger of Alcatel and Lucent in 2006.
In a statement, Verwaayen said that while it has been “a difficult decision to not seek a further term... it was clear to me that now is an appropriate moment for the Board to seek fresh leadership to take the company forward.”
Chairman Philippe Camus said the board accepted Verwaayen's decision “after due reflection.” He said both internal and external candidates will be considered for a replacement.
Verwaayen's decision came the same day the vendor reported a swing to a €1.37 billion net loss for FY12, after posting a maiden profit of €1 billion in 2011. Revenue fell 5.7% in FY12 to €14.45 billion.
The company's net loss for Q4 was just shy of the same size as its full-year loss, with revenue falling 1.3% year-on-year to €4.01 billion. Restructuring charges associated with the company's cost-cutting efforts and provisions for deferred tax were the main contributor to the large growth.
But the quarterly results also provide some potential green shoots, with the company reporting an adjusted operating income of €117 million.
Verwaayen said the quarterly results reflect early progress with the company's turnaround plan, and that the company will remain focused on the initiative in 2013. But the company may face an uphill struggle given the current weak climate for telecom capex.