I am writing to express my dismay over "Overcharges? Hidden perks? Moi?" (International Business, May 30).

The juxtaposition of Alcatel Chairman Pierre Suard's photograph with the caption "$714,000 went for construction on his residences" leaves the impression that Suard benefited from inappropriate company expenditures that constituted "hidden perks." In point of fact, the expenditures were requested by law-enforcement authorities following the killing of a French business executive. They were approved by the appropriate committee of the corporation's board of directors and determined to be appropriate corporate--not personal--expense.

The allegations of fraudulent billing practices stem from the arrest of two Alcatel CIT managers who were terminated for misappropriation of corporate funds. In an attempt to aid their own defense, these managers proceeded to accuse their superiors of wrongdoing. These allegations are completely false.

Rossella Daverio

Director, Corporate Relations

Alcatel Alsthom


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