Lucent Seeks a Chief Operating Officer

FRAMINGHAM (08/08/2000) - Lucent Technologies Inc. is looking for a chief operating officer amidst a management shakeup.

Last week, Lucent President Harry Bosco announced that he was retiring. And Tuesday the company said that Patricia Russo, executive vice president and CEO of the service-provider networks group, would be leaving the company.

"We are redefining Lucent to be the leader in building a broadband and mobile Internet that will change the way people communicate," said CEO Richard McGinn."As part of this effort, I will begin a search for a chief operating officer who will work with me, [Chief Financial Officer] Debby Hopkins and our other senior team members."

Jeong Kim, 39, former head of Yurie Systems, which Lucent acquired in 1998, replaces Bosco as president of optical networking; Bob Barron, 43, former head of startup Chromatis Networks, which Lucent acquired in June, is heading Lucent's new Metropolitan Optical Networking division.

Jim Slaby, an analyst at Giga Information Group Inc., in Cambridge, Mass., said he has been expecting some turmoil within the company's management ranks.

Profitability is down, the stock price is unstable and competitors like Cisco Systems Inc. and Nortel Networks Corp. have pulled ahead of Lucent from a market standpoint, he said.

"Lucent looked promising a couple of years ago and now it's facing its first financial troubles," he said. "[Lucent] really recognized that they've got problems and they're taking steps to solve them and that's encouraging."

But, to remain competitive against giants like Cisco, the company must build a stronger brand through aggressive marketing strategies, Slaby said.

The company, based in Murray Hill, N.J., had a COO position until 1999, when the co-COOs moved to different positions within the company, a Lucent spokesperson said.

Russo won't be replaced because the division she headed will merge with Lucent's business operations.

Whoever takes the COO's job can expect a lucrative compensation package, if the money offered to Hopkins, who joined Lucent as CFO in May, is any indication.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Lucent revealed that Hopkins received a base salary of US$650,000, a $650,000 short-term incentive award and a $4 million signing bonus that will be rescinded if she leaves the company before two years. Hopkins was formerly CFO at The Boeing Co.

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