Verwaayen arrived in 2008 to try to make sense of the company formed by the 2006 merger of Alcatel SA and Lucent Technologies Inc. The former BT Group Plc CEO followed Patricia Russo and Serge Tchuruk, who oversaw the combination but couldn’t translate billions of dollars of research to develop equipment used in the newest generation of wireless networks into profits.
Chief Financial Officer Paul Tufano has worked alongside Verwaayen to fix Alcatel-Lucent’s finances since 2008. He took on more responsibilities in the newly created role of chief operating officer last September.
The former industrial giant’s operations once ranged from spaceflight to cutting-edge theoretical physics. It still has units including a submarine-cable business that’s been in operation for over 150 years and established the first undersea telegraph link. It’s shopping that asset around for possible buyers.
Since the merger, Alcatel-Lucent has accumulated about 10 billion euros in net losses, while its cash reserve has diminished by 700 million euros on average annually. Verwaayen has undertaken a patents-licensing agreement, sale of assets such as the Genesys call-center software unit and a stake in French aerospace manufacturer Thales SA, and a plan to cut 5,500 positions -- yet still not enough to right things.
To gain time for the reorganization, Verwaayen in December pledged more assets and patents and set targets to improve profit margins by 2015 to convince Credit Suisse Group AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to agree on a 2 billion-euro financing deal.
PARIS (Reuters) - Defying all predictions by the IMF, the European Commission and the bulk of private economists, President Francois Hollande is still banking on a turnaround in French unemployment by the end of the year.
Not only that, he has upped the stakes by making it the top political priority of his Socialist government. "I will be judged on it," he told the nation in a Bastille Day television interview last month.
It is no secret that he plans to use a variety of state-subsidized temporary jobs and training places to ease the strain on jobless claims totals that hit an all-time record of 3.28 million in June.
When French children return to school in September, they will be welcomed by an army of 30,000 new classroom minders and playground assistants in many cases taken straight from the dole queues. Such public sector posts are a category of jobs whose average duration will be doubled to 12 months.
Add to these the so-called "jobs of the future" which the government will fund to help unqualified youths aged between 16 and 25 take up jobs in the health, charitable and other non-commercial sector
After a slow start, the government estimates 2,500 such contracts are now being signed a week and expects to get close to a year-end target of 100,000. The third major lever will be a new tranche of training schemes aimed at matching the unemployed with the several hundred thousand job vacancies currently unfilled in France because of a skills mismatch. Hollande expects to fill 30,000 such posts this year and 70,000 more in 2014.
Finally, Hollande wants to encourage the private sector to take on 70,000 young people by giving companies financial incentives to train a young worker to replace an employee heading into retirement.
Socialists are "amazing" aren't they? How would you like to have the guys in the job line to be picked up on a bus and taken to watch your 7 year olds at school in the morning? Then move to France! Or vote for Obama:)