Alcatel-Lucent taps Geary to head Wireless division

New division head will oversee telecom equipment firm's 4G LTE rollout

Telecom equipment giant Alcatel-Lucent has tapped David J. Geary to take over as president of its struggling Wireless division starting next January.

Geary, who was previously head of the telecom equipment firm's Wireline division, will oversee the rollout of its 4G LTE and lightRadio products, as well as its WCDMA, GSM, CDMA, and small cells base station products.

Geary will report to Philippe Keryer, president of the newly formed Networks and Platforms Business Group. Federico Guillen will take over the Wireline division from Geary.

Alcatel-Lucent, which is struggling to stay afloat, is betting on its 4G LTE rollout to turn things around. In the most recent quarter, the firm reported a staggering net loss of €146 million ($186 million) for the quarter, compared to a net income of €194 million for the same quarter last year.

To curb the losses, the company is implementing a €1.25 billion restructuring program that includes asset sales and 5,500 job cuts. Alcatel-Lucent has seen its stock value drop close to 65 percent over the past year, and the stock is trading near a 23-year low.

Geary is being tapped to turnaround the struggling Wireless division, which saw a 19 percent decline in revenues for the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter last year.

Alcatel-Lucent attributed the decline to cautious spending from service providers, especially in legacy equipment.

At the same time, the 4G LTE business has shown stabile growth, driven by continued investment in the United States and a major contract win with China Mobile to deploy the largest share of their TD-LTE trial network rollout, the firm noted.

Alcatel-Lucent is counting on Geary to repeat his success in the Wireline division, which posted a healthy 26.3 percent increase in revenue for the most recent quarter, despite the firm's overall financial slide.

Whether Geary can perform similar magic in the Wireless division remains to be seen. Alcatel-Lucent is betting its financial future on it.

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