Part of the restructuring work should also focus on making its wireless business more competitive. It remains the key challenge facing Alcatel-Lucent, and the company has made no secret of the fact that it wants to be a leader in LTE, according to Newman. The company lost market share in the radio access network sector in 2012, and remains the fourth largest vendor behind Ericsson, Huawei Technologies and Nokia Siemens, ABI Research said on Thursday.
Combes, a Frenchman, will also have to address continuing tensions between the French and American parts of the organization and help energize its employees, including those based in other parts of the world, according to Fabre. However, if Alcatel-Lucent's problems escalated to the point where the French government had to step in to avoid a fate like Nortel's, his nationality could help, Fabre said.
Recently there have been rumors about a potential deal between Nokia Siemens and Alcatel-Lucent, which would see Siemens exit its joint venture with Nokia. However, if that deal went through, the big winners would be Ericsson and Huawei, according to Newman. On paper, consolidation makes sense, but in reality it is hard to see how it could be successful, he said.
"The cultural challenge of bringing together a U.S.-French organization with a Finnish-German organization will, in my mind, be a massive headache," Newman said.
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