Alcatel-Lucent Names Ex-Goldman Banker Raby Finance Chief

Alcatel-Lucent SA named former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker Jean Raby as chief financial and legal officer as part of the networking-equipment maker’s reorganization under Chief Executive Officer Michel Combes.

Raby, who was a partner and managing director at Goldman’s investment-banking division until last year, will start in the new role next month and move to Paris, Alcatel-Lucent said today in a statement. The 49-year-old will take on responsibilities left by outgoing CFO Paul Tufano.

Combes, who took over in April after predecessor Ben Verwaayen’s asset sales and firings failed to turn around the company, is trying to keep Alcatel-Lucent’s cash from dwindling further after seven consecutive years of declines. Raby brings investment-banking expertise as the company tries to cut debt by 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) by the end of 2015 by selling shares on the stock market or through further asset sales.

“His extensive knowledge of the industry and his deep understanding of global financial markets in the widest sense will be of great value as we drive ahead with the implementation of the Shift Plan announced in June,” Combes said in the statement.

Shares of Alcatel-Lucent fell 1 percent to 1.90 euros at 9:51 a.m. in Paris. They had jumped 92 percent this year through yesterday.

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Raby, born in Canada and trained as a lawyer, holds a Bachelor of Laws from the Universite Laval in Quebec City, a Master of Philosophy in International Relations from the University of Cambridge in the U.K. and a Master of Laws from Harvard Law School.

Alcatel-Lucent in December pledged its 39,000-strong patent portfolio as collateral for a 2-billion-euro loan deal underwritten by Credit Suisse Group AG and Goldman Sachs.

The Paris-based equipment maker is now seeking to reduce the rate on part of these loans, with Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank AG arranging the transaction, a person with knowledge of the matter said this month.

In the coming months, Combes will have to deal with job cuts and asset sales as part of his bid to reorganize a company that has lost more than $10 billion since it was created through a 2006 merger. The Frenchman is also in talks with potential research partners, which could become Alcatel-Lucent investors. Qualcomm Inc. already agreed to buy a minority stake.

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