|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2008)|
|Fate||Merged with Alcatel SA|
|Founded||September 30, 1996|
|Headquarters||Murray Hill, New Jersey, United States|
|Revenue||$9.44 billion USD (2005)|
Lucent (officially Lucent Technologies, Inc.) was an American multinational telecommunications equipment company headquartered in Murray Hill, New Jersey, in the United States. It was established on September 30, 1996 through the demerger of the former AT&T Technologies business unit of AT&T Corporation, which included Western Electric and Bell Labs.
Two of the primary reasons AT&T Corporation chose to spin off its equipment manufacturing business was to permit it to profit from sales to competing telecommunications providers; these customers had previously shown reluctance to purchase from a direct competitor. Bell Labs brought prestige to the new company, as well as the revenue from thousands of patents.
At the time of its spinoff, Lucent was placed under the leadership of Henry Schacht, who was brought in to oversee its transition from an arm of AT&T into an independent corporation. Richard McGinn, who was serving as President and COO, succeeded Schacht as CEO in 1997 while Schacht remained chairman of the board. Lucent became a "darling" stock of the investment community in the late 1990s, rising from a split-adjusted spinoff price of $7.56/share to a high of $84.
In 1997, Lucent acquired Milpitas based voice mail market leader Octel Communications Corporation for $2.1 billion, a move which immediately rendered the Business Systems Group profitable. By 1999 Lucent stock continued to soar and in that year Lucent acquired Ascend Communications, an Alameda, California–based manufacturer of communications equipment for US$24 billion. Lucent held discussions to acquire Juniper Networks but decided instead to build its own routers internally.
However at the start of 2000 Lucent's "private bubble burst" several months before the rest of the telecom industry bubble did. Previously Lucent had 14 straight quarters where it exceeded analysts' expectations, leading to high expectations for the 15th quarter, ending Dec. 31, 1999. On January 6, 2000, Lucent made the first of a string of announcements that it had missed its quarterly estimates, as CEO Rich McGinn grimly announced that Lucent had run into special problems during that quarter--including disruptions in its optical networking business--and reported flat revenues and a big drop in profits. That caused the stock to plunge by 28%, shaving $64 billion off of the company's market capitalization. When it was later revealed that it had used dubious accounting and sales practices to generate some of its earlier quarterly numbers, Lucent fell from grace. It was said that "Rich McGinn that couldn't accept Lucent's fall from its early triumphs. He described himself once as imposing "audacious" goals on his managers, believing the stretch for performance would produce dream results. Henry Schacht defended the corporate culture that McGinn created and also noted that McGinn did not sell any Lucent shares while serving as CEO. In November 2000, it also disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission that it had a $125 million accounting error for the third quarter of 2000. Subsequently, its CFO, Deborah Hopkins, left the company in May 2001 with Lucent's stock at $9.06 whereas at the time she was hired it was at $46.82.
By October 2002, when its stock price bottomed at 55 cents per share, Henry Schacht had been brought back on an interim basis to replace McGinn. Patricia Russo was named permanent Chairman and CEO, succeeding Schacht who remained on the Board of Directors.
In April 2000, Lucent sold its Consumer Products unit to VTech and Consumer Phone Services. In October 2000, Lucent spun off its Business Systems arm into Avaya, Inc., and in June 2002, it spun off its microelectronics division into Agere Systems. The spinoffs of enterprise networking and wireless, the industry's key growth businesses from 2003 onward, meant that Lucent no longer had the capacity to serve this market.
Lucent was reduced to 30,500 employees, down from about 165,000 employees at its zenith. The layoffs of so many experienced employees meant that the company was in a weakened position and unable to reestablish itself when the market recovered in 2003.
Lucent continued to be active in the areas of telephone switching, optical, data and wireless networking.
On April 2, 2006, Lucent announced a merger agreement with Alcatel, which was 1.5 times the size of Lucent. Serge Tchurk became non-executive chairman, and Russo served as CEO of the newly merged company, Alcatel-Lucent, until they were both forced to resign at the end of 2008. The merger failed to produce the expected synergies, and there were significant write-downs of Lucent's assets that Alcatel purchased.
Lucent was divided into several core groups:
- Network Solutions Group - served landline/cellular telephone service providers by providing equipment & other solutions necessary to provide telephone service, including networking equipment
- Lucent Worldwide Services (LWS) - provided network services to telecom companies and business; clients included AT&T Corporation & Verizon.
- Bell Labs - created in 1925 as the R&D firm of the Bell System. It was an AT&T subsidiary set up as dual ownership by AT&T and Western Electric, the manufacturing arm of AT&T. Bell Labs has accumulated over 31,000 patents in its existence, some of which include development of the LED and discovery of the measure of sound.
Murray Hill facility
The Murray Hill anechoic chamber, built in 1940, is the world's oldest wedge-based anechoic chamber. The interior room measures approximately 30 feet (9.1 m) high by 28 feet (8.5 m) wide by 32 feet (9.8 m) deep. The exterior concrete and brick walls are about 3 feet (0.91 m) thick to keep outside noise from entering the chamber. The chamber absorbs over 99.995% of the incident acoustic energy above 200 Hz. At one time the Murray Hill chamber was cited in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's quietest room. It is possible to hear the sounds of skeletal joints and heart beats very prominently.
The Murray Hill facility was the global headquarters for Lucent Technologies. The Murray Hill facility also has the largest copper-roof in the world. When Lucent Technologies was experiencing financial troubles in 2000 and 2001, one out of every three fluorescent lights was turned off in the facility. The same was done in the Naperville and Allentown, Pennsylvania facilities for a while. The facility had a cricket field and featured a nearby station from which enthusiasts could control RC airplanes and helicopters.
The Lucent logo, the Innovation Ring, was designed by Landor Associates, a prominent San Francisco-based branding consultancy. One source inside Lucent says that the logo is actually a Zen Buddhist symbol for "eternal truth", the Enso, turned 90 degrees and modified. Another source says it represents the mythic ouroboros, a snake holding its tail in its mouth. Lucent's logo also has been said to represent constant re-creating and re-thinking.
After the logo was compared in the media to the ring a coffee mug leaves on paper, a Dilbert comic strip showed Dogbert as an overpaid consultant designing a new company logo; he takes a piece of paper that his coffee cup was sitting on and calls it the "Brown Ring of Quality". A telecommunication commentator referred to the logo as "a big red zero" and predicted financial losses.
- Funding Universe : Lucent Technologies
- "Alcatel and Lucent Technologies to Merge and Form World's Leading Communication Solutions Provider". www.alcatel-lucent.com. Retrieved 2009-12-30.
- "Hopkins to Join Citigroup". www.cfo.com.
- "Lucent replaces CEO, cuts outlook". CNET News. Retrieved 2009-12-30.
- "Alcatel-Lucent's Russo, Tchuruk to Quit; Loss Widens (Update4)". Bloomberg. July 29, 2008.
- AIGA | 404
- ""The Binary Serpent" by Heinz Insu Fenkl". Endicott-studio.com. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- …. "AIGA | Inspiration". Voice.aiga.org. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- Brown Ring Of Quality on Dilbert.com
- "Lucent symbol a big red zero," Daily Record (Morris County, NJ), August 15, 2001, p. A6 [letter to the editor].
- Endlich, Lisa (2004). Optical Illusions: Lucent and the Crash of Telecom. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-2667-4.
- Lazonick, William, and Edward March (2011) "The Rise and Demise of Lucent Technologies," Journal of Strategic Management Education, vol. 7, no. 4.,
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