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Lucent Cutting Jobs Yet Again

Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) replaced its financial chief and set plans to cut 4,000 more jobs following its third straight quarterly loss.

Alcatel-Lucent also trimmed its full-year forecast, saying revenue will come in flat due to "some of the recent uncertainty seen in the market."

The Paris-based telecom equipment maker lost 258 million euros ($372 milion) in the third quarter ended Sept. 30. Revenue rose 2.3% from second-quarter levels but dropped 7.8% from a year ago to 4.35 billion euros ($6.27 billion).

Analysts were looking for a modest profit on revenue of $6.23 billion.

Alcatel responded to the latest shortfall by replacing ean-Pascal Beaufret as chief financial officer. He'll leave to pursue other opportunities and be replaced by Hubert de Pesquidoux, who was head of Alcatel's enterprise group. The company also named a seven-person management team.

"This streamlined management structure enables a more efficient, more focused company with clear lines of accountability," CEO Patricia Russo said. "I selected every member of this team, not only because of his or her area of responsibility, but because they each bring a great deal of experience in this complex and often difficult industry and have successfully tackled a range of challenges throughout their careers. I look forward to their counsel and guidance as we navigate through this next phase of our merger, taking on the challenges and seizing on the opportunities ahead."

Whether the moves will be enough to save Russo's job is anyone's guess at this point. The board put her on notice last month after the company warned of a weak third quarter, citing slowdowns in equipment orders. Rivals such as Ericsson (ERIC) and Tellabs (TLAB) have also been hit hard in recent months by weakening demand for telecom gear.

Directors gave Russo a month to devise a turnaround plan for Alcatel Lucent -- and not surprisingly, she came up with a roadmap that relies heavily on firings. Alcatel-Lucent had already set plans for 12,000 job cuts, up from 9,500 when France's Alcatel and New Jersey's Lucent agreed in early 2006 to merge. But obviously the company now feels it can't hand out enough pink slips.

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