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10/3/2007
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Under Pressure, Alcatel-Lucent's Board Supports Its Strategy And Its Chief

The board also said it will review a management plan during its next scheduled board meeting on Oct. 30.

The Alcatel-Lucent board of directors, citing "mischaracterized interpretations and erroneous speculations" about the company's business and its leadership team, said it supports chief executive Patricia Russo and the Alcatel-Lucent management team.

The board, which numbers Russo among its 14 members, said it will review a management plan during its next scheduled board meeting on Oct. 30.

The company has missed its financial forecasts three times since Alcatel acquired the former Lucent Technologies, and in recent weeks has been plagued by unsubstantiated reports and rumors including the possible resignation of Russo.

In a statement , the Alcatel-Lucent board said Tuesday: "While clearly disappointed in the most recent changes in the company's outlook, the board supports Pat Russo and the leadership team, and the efforts they are making to adapt the company's plans in light of this year's developments."

The statement continued: "The board reiterated its confidence in the strategic direction taken with the merger of Alcatel-Lucent, the future potential of the company, and said it will continue to work with the company's leadership team to enhance value for shareholders, employees, and customers worldwide."

Following the company's most recent financial report, Alcatel-Lucent's stock rose more than 4 % on what some financial analysts said was speculation that Russo would resign.

The Lucent operation, which formerly was at the heart of the old AT&T's Western Electric manufacturing arm, was in a relentless downward spiral after the telecommunications stock market bubble burst in 2000. Lucent lost $16 billion in 2001 and dismissed two-thirds of its staff. Its stock market valuation dropped by $250 billion, which was equivalent to 2% of the entire U.S. gross domestic product.

The company has been attempting to regain its footing ever since.

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