Alcatel-Lucent's Verwaayen dismisses talk of steep job cuts

Alcatel-Lucent (NASDAQ:ALU) CEO Ben Verwaayen ruled out the possibility of steep job cuts on the scale that rival Nokia Siemens Networks is undertaking to regain competitiveness.

In an interview with the French newspaper Les Echos, Verwaayen said that Alcatel-Lucent is in a stronger position. "There's no way we are cutting our staff by 25 percent," he said. "We are in a different situation because we have quickly turned towards the network technologies of the future." Verwaayen also reaffirmed the company's goal to generate positive cash flow in 2012.

Nokia Siemens said in November that it plans to focus exclusively on the mobile broadband market, and said it will shed or shutter unrelated businesses, a move that analysts praised. NSN plans to cut 17,000 workers by 2013, for a total cost savings of around €1 billion, or $1.3 billion.

Alcatel-Lucent has benefited from the pronounced shift toward LTE, and along with market leader Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC), the company is leading in terms of LTE market share, according to a recent report from the Dell'Oro Group. However, Alcatel-Lucent is also under pressure to improve its financial performance. In November Alcatel-Lucent said it will embark on a $691 million program of additional cost cuts in 2012, affecting both sales spending and project costs. There have also been reports of mounting investor pressure on Verwaayen to turn around the firm's performance. 

For more:
- see this Reuters article

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