Translation from French: “Start packing, lady.” See a story on it here. Frankly I can’t think of a CEO who more deserves to get thrown out of a train than Pat Russo. Especially if they toss most of her old Lucent management team with her. Talk about a bunch of scared, cautious, unimaginative lifers. Jesus! They destroyed Bell Labs. They screwed their pensioners to goose their earnings and save their own necks. They drove Lucent into the rocks.
A lot of these people still think they’re working for pre-breakup AT&T, selling big junky overpriced switches to captive customers. You talk to these people and it’s like the last 20 years haven’t happened. What really slays me is this notion that yoking two of these dumb companies together could somehow make a difference. These companies made sense when every country had a bunch of phone carriers, all wildly overpricing for connecting phone calls, and when you had all these complicated connections and hand-offs to make when you made a call from one country to another. Today there’s one big network. Companies like Google are hooking big giant turbo-chargers to it all over the globe. This is going to be the phone company. And the TV network. Don’t these people see that? Instead of just merging two companies at a time they should yoke all of the old telecom equipment companies together. At least then they might sink faster. And we could all get on with inventing the future.
Finally, I know I once said that I hoped Pat Russo would get crabs for bringing a ridiculous lawsuit about MP3 patents. And for turning Lucent into a zombie company. Well, after some quiet reflection, I’ve come to the conclusion that I still feel the same way. Sorry. (Photo: Annie Liebovitz, Information Week.)