Australian telecommunications industry veteran Mike Quigley was today left out in the cold as French networking vendor Alcatel-Lucent named a new chief executive to replace a departure in July this year.
Quigley, a long-time Alcatel veteran who has at times played an important role in the French vendor's negotiations with key client Telstra, had been tipped to take the CEO role by some financial analysts.
However instead, former British Telecom CEO Ben Verwaayan will take on the role, effective from today.
Verwaayan was the CEO of BT between February 2002 and June 2008, before which he was vice-chairman of the management board of Lucent Technologies in the US, before it merged with Alcatel.
Phillippe Camus, who has held the co-CEO position at the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), will also be starting as non-executive director on 1 October.
"Philippe Camus and Ben Verwaayen are respected and experienced business leaders. Their understanding of this industry with its challenges and opportunities make them the perfect choice to lead and guide Alcatel-Lucent as it moves into this next stage in its development," said the company's board in a statement.
It came as no surprise in July when Alcatel-Lucent announced that CEO Patricia Russo and chairman Serge Tchuruk would depart later this year. Since former rivals Alcatel and Lucent started operating as a single entity in December 2006, the combined company has lost more than half its value and faced increased competition from Asian suppliers.
While Alcatel-Lucent said the two executives had stepped down of their own accord, angry shareholders had urged the shake-up for months.
Leslie Katz of CNET News.com contributed to this article.