Alcatel-Lucent looks to reassure investors amid economic troubles

Alcatel-Lucent sought to reassure investors during the company's annual meeting that the telecom business has room for significant growth, despite the fact that the company continues to struggle with sales and profit warnings. However, the vendor re-affirmed that sales would be flat because of the economic slump that is keeping its customers from upgrading their networks.

Alcatel Chairman Serge Tchuruk said the telecom equipment sector was "going through a new crisis" characterized by dramatically falling prices that are offsetting gains in sales volume.

The company's stockholders also approved a resolution that will make it easier to remove Tchuruk and CEO Patricia Russo. The board previously would have to have at least a two-thirds majority vote to remove either of the executives. The board now only needs a simple majority to remove the chairman or CEO. Will it bring about the ouster of Russo? She received a vote of confidence from the company board last fall following rumors that she could be ousted, but the firm's performance has not exactly improved since.

For more on this story:
- check out The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)

Related stories:
Alca-Lu loss trend, exchange woes continue. Alcatel-Lucent story
Alcatel-Lucent backs CEO Russo. Russo report

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