Wednesday, July 30, 2008


One is tempted to hum, "When will they ever learn" with the announcement that both the chairman and CEO of Alcatel-Lucent are stepping down. Most mergers don't work, and this cross-cultural one was in the crosshairs of danger from the beginning. By all accounts, CEO Patricia Russo is an excellent boss. That she couldn't make it go is unhappy indeed.

Mergers start with people and getting people to work together. Cooperation is communication. It appears that people weren't communicating enough between the two countries. One wonders how the HR and PR departments were operating across borders. The next boss is faced with tough decisions, including the possibility of declaring the merger a failure and starting over by spinning off divisions. Look for more pain before things get better, if they ever do.


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