Lucent COO Resigns, CEO Gains Clout

Lucent COO Bob Holder, who helped the telecom equipment maker navigate restructuring, shareholder lawsuits and a Securities and Exchange Commission probe, has resigned, effective this summer.

After Holder’s departure, Chairman and CEO Patricia Russo will assume his responsibilities and the position will be scrapped.

“Now that a number of significant issues are behind us . . . I decided that it was the right time to consolidate our top management structure and for me to manage operations more directly,” Russo said in a statement.

In February, Russo added chairman to her resume, replacing Henry Schacht, who remains on the board of directors. The change was announced at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in late February and was a vote of confidence for Russo.

Holder was promoted to the post in October 2001 after serving as executive vice president for corporate operations. He has been with Lucent since it was spun off from AT&T in 1996. Previously he had a long career with AT&T.

The 56-year-old oversaw major units of Murray Hill, N.J.-based Lucent, including: mobility solutions, integrated network solutions, services, supply chain networks and information technology.

For his part, Holder expressed confidence in Russo and her plan to take on additional work.

“I agree with Pat that this is the right time to streamline the senior management structure,” Holder said.

The announcement comes after the company posted its 12th consectutive quarterly loss. Lucent did however see a jump in sales during the first three months of the year.

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