Alcatel-Lucent shareholders ease rules for CEO removal

The board of directors of French vendor giant Alcatel-Lucent now needs only a simple majority vote to decide the fate of CEO Patricia Russo. Previous company rules required two-thirds approval by the board to remove a CEO, but shareholders voted at Alcatel-Lucent's annual meeting late last week to change the voting requirement to only a majority approval. Russo has reigned over a challenging merger integration process that may only just be showing results a full 18 months after Alcatel and Lucent combined. The company has posted several quarterly losses in a row, and Alca-Lu officials have been blaming everything from the carrier trends to the overall staggering economy to the weak dollar-euro exchange rate.

It seems as if something has finally got to give, and if Alcatel-Lucent's financial performance does not improve very quickly, we just got a pretty good hint what will give and who will get it. Still, some people might have expected Russo to be gone sooner, perhaps around the time that other executives were departing last year, but the company board only continued to back her. Maybe Russo can out-last them all.

For more:
- read this Associated Press report at the International Herald Tribune