Can Ben Verwaayen save Alca-Lu from itself?

Take two competing corporate cultures, add a dash of snobbery and two very distinct leadership styles, add very stiff-and cheap-competition from China to taste, and, finally, squeeze in a twist of tepid industry demand. Shake or stir and serve. What you get is something less than a perfect martini. In the case of Alcatel-Lucent, the product of a decidedly unsavory merger in 2006 that has spawned six straight losing quarters, it's an offering that some experts see as something between "struggling" and "beyond redemption."

Alca-Lu finally had enough and forced out its American CEO Pat Russo and French chairman Serge Tchuruk, replacing them with a pair of Europeans they hope blend better than the last ingredients. For its new Dutch CEO Ben Verwaayen and French Chairman Philippe Camus, the task of turning around the troubled telecom will be daunting.

For more:
- see the Economist story

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