Lucent taps Russo as chairman

Patricia Russo will become chairman of network equipment vendor Lucent Technologies Inc., the company's board of directors announced Wednesday.

Russo, 50, a former Lucent executive who returned to the company in January 2002 as president and chief executive officer (CEO), will take the chairman's seat following Lucent's annual shareholder meeting Wednesday, according to a company statement. She will remain CEO, and the company has no plans to fill the post of president, said Lucent spokeswoman Mary Lou Ambrus. Russo succeeds Henry Schacht, 68, who will remain on the board of directors as an outside member.

Under Russo's leadership as president and CEO, the company has faced a bruising recession in the telecommunications equipment industry and undergone a major restructuring that the company believes will help bring it back to profitability by the end of its 2003 fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

Before leaving Lucent for a stint at Eastman Kodak Co., Russo had risen to the post of executive vice president and CEO of Lucent's Service Provider Networks division, which she held from 1999 to 2000. As part of its restructuring, Lucent has made that business its core operation, the statement said.

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