Lucent CEO on the Ropes

Shares rally on a report that the board is pushing Pat Russo to produce.
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Alcatel Lucent's (ALU) chief Pat Russo is under the gun and has one month to present an "emergency plan" for the company.

Last week, after the company issued its third profit miss of the year, the board held a special meeting putting Russo on notice and requesting her to deliver a strategy that would improve the company's financial performance, according to a report Friday in

Les Echos

, a French business newspaper.

The telecom equipment giant will likely take yet another swing with the ax, aiming for deeper staff cuts and the shutdown of some weak product lines. Russo has already overseen two cost-cutting plans since Lucent and Alcatel merged in November. The original target was eliminating 9,000 jobs over three years, then after a profit shortfall in February, the target was expanded to 12,500 workers.

Russo has taken a tough path to success. Unlike peers in the tech industry who prod development of new products in big growth areas, Russo's track record has largely been built on slashing products and jobs, first at Lucent and now at Alcatel Lucent.

Alcatel acquired Lucent in large part to gain a strong position in the U.S. market. But telco consolidation and network spending cuts by

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

and

Verizon

(VZ) - Get Report

have turned that would-be strength into a weakness.

Alcatel Lucent shares jumped 53 cents, or 5%, to $10.28 early Friday.