Not his fault...I suppose
Ben inherited the collosal train wreck that was Lucent. Before Alcatel bought them Alcatel was doing OK. I'm not saying everything was perfect - they had a huge French pension liability. But Lucent was just a boat anchor that had paid tens of billions in useless company acquisitions and was losing money. They paid $23B just for Ascend - and there was never a second generation product that came out of that purchase. The scale of their stupidity is awesome!
Verwaayen is "one of the boys" who keeps bouncing from Lucent to BT then to ALU. Contracts always seem to follow, so he obviously has good contacts. But trying to rescue ALU is a losing battle.
The IP products that Alcatel got from buying Timetra are good. It's about the only decent acquisition I can think of.
Alcatel is trying to sell their submarine optical business right now. Next up will be the terrestrial optical business. Both used to be jewels in the crown (the sub business is still #1 in the world, but losing money).
They are also supposed to be "monetizing" their patent portfolio, but why on Earth haven't they been doing that years ago?
How is it that ALU shareholders allow management to maintain this level of incompetence? There are tens of thousands of employees and former employees who are expecting pensions from this company. What's going to happen to them?