Patricia Russo

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For the singer/songwriter/actress, see Patti Russo.
Patricia F. Russo
Patricia Russo.jpg
Born Patricia Fiorello Russo[1]
(1952-06-12) June 12, 1952 (age 62)[1]
Trenton, New Jersey[1]
Citizenship  United States
Alma mater Georgetown University
Lawrence High School[1]
Occupation Business executive
Known for CEO of Lucent Technologies, Alcatel-Lucent
Board member of
HP

Patricia F. Russo (born June 12, 1952 in Trenton, New Jersey[1]) is an American businessperson most widely known for having served as chief executive officer of Lucent Technologies and its successor, Alcatel-Lucent, a large communications equipment manufacturer. She currently serves on the board of directors of HP, General Motors, Merck & Co. and ALCOA, Inc. She serves as Chairman of the nonprofit organization Partnership at Drugfree.org [2]

Forbes magazine rated Russo as the tenth on its list of the most powerful women in 2006.[3]

Career at Lucent[edit]

Russo joined Lucent's predecessor in 1982.[4] In 1992 she became the president of its Business Communications Systems division, moving in 1997 to become its executive VP of corporate operations, and in 1999 to its executive VP and CEO of the Service Provider Networks Group[4] She left in August 2000, after a reorganization, but returned in January 2002 to become its CEO.[4] After "cutting costs and focusing on sales of wireless equipment, Russo was credited with returning Lucent to profitability in 2004, after three years of red ink."[3] However, profits that year "came largely through slashes in spending, cuts to retiree benefits, and reductions in research-and-development budgets that spurred protests."[5]

On April 2, 2006 it was announced that Russo would assume the CEO role of a new combined company resulting from the merger of the French communications company Alcatel and Lucent.[citation needed] This merger became effective on December 1, 2006. When Russo became the CEO of the combined company, Serge Tchuruk, the former CEO of Alcatel, remained as Chairman.

The newly combined entity failed to turn a profit, and as a result, the company's management team resorted to rounds of restructuring and layoffs to address what were considered "challenging market conditions".[6] The board eventually decided to oust the management team, and on July 29, 2008, Russo, along with Alcatel-Lucent chairman Serge Tchuruk, announced that she would step down by the end of 2008, in a broad-reaching management restructuring.[7] Significant changes in the composition of the company's board were also announced. Alcatel-Lucent shares lost more than 60% of their value in the year preceding her departure.[7] In the statement released by Alcatel-Lucent relating to her departure, Russo was quoted as saying, "The company will benefit from new leadership aligned with a newly composed board to bring a fresh and independent perspective that will take Alcatel-Lucent to its next level of growth and development in a rapidly changing global market.".[8]

On September 2, 2008 she was replaced by Ben Verwaayen.

Other activities[edit]

Russo spent nine months as the COO of Eastman Kodak, a position she left in January 2002 when she returned to Lucent to become their CEO.[4] She was also chairman of Avaya, which was spun off from Lucent.

On July 23, 2009 General Motors announced that Russo would be a member of the company's new Board of Directors.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Patricia Russo (American businesswoman)". Encyclopædia Britannica. 
  2. ^ "Patricia Russo: Executive Profile & Biography - Businessweek". investing.businessweek.com. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  3. ^ a b #25 Patricia Russo, from the 2006 Forbes "list of the 100 Most Powerful Women"
  4. ^ a b c d Lucent's Next Leader, a January 2002 article from LightReading.com
  5. ^ Patricia Russo
  6. ^ Alcatel-Lucent Posts Big Loss, Plans Further Job Cuts
  7. ^ a b CEO and Chairman Out at Alcatel-Lucent
  8. ^ Alcatel-Lucent Chiefs to Step Down, The New York Times, July 29, 2008
  9. ^ "GM Names Its Government-Appointed Board Members". CNBC. 2009-07-23. Retrieved 2009-08-02. [dead link]
Business positions
Preceded by
Daniel A. Carp (acting)
COO of Eastman Kodak
April 16, 2001 – January 6, 2002
Succeeded by
Daniel A. Carp (acting)
Preceded by
Henry B. Schacht (acting)
CEO of Lucent Technologies
January 7, 2002 – November 30, 2006
Merged into Alcatel-Lucent
New creation CEO of Alcatel-Lucent
December 1, 2006 – September 2, 2008
Succeeded by
Ben Verwaayen