After a 15-month search for a new CEO, Lucent Technologies Inc. last month brought back a former high-level executive who isn’t expected to make major strategic changes at the struggling company. Lucent gave the job to Patricia Russo, who left the Murray Hill, N.J.-based vendor of telecommunications equipment 18 months ago and most recently was president and chief operating officer at Eastman Kodak Co. in Rochester, N.Y. Russo, 49, takes over at Lucent from Henry Schacht, who had been running the company on an interim basis since late 2000. Schacht will continue as chairman for up to a year, and Russo indicated that she plans to stick with the strategy he devised. In a statement, Russo said Schacht and his management team “have put in place and are implementing a solid, credible plan for turning this business around.”
Nortel Networks Corp. and Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories Inc. last month separately released software for call centres aimed at strengthening communication lines between call agents and customers. Nortel released version 4.0 of its Symposium Call Center Web Client, which is a browser-based interface to a Nortel Symposium server. Nortel says the new client could help businesses roll out call centres faster by eliminating the need to install and manage the standard Symposium client software on individual call agents’ PCs. The Web client offers most of the same functions, such as access to customer history and case information, customer record displays and desktop displays for performance statistics for individual agents. Genesys, a subsidiary of Alcatel, announced version 6.4 of CallPath, a former IBM Corp. product which Genesys acquired last May. The new version integrates CallPath call agent management servers with the Genesys Suite 6 call centre product, so that users can manage customer e-mail responses and agent/customer Web collaboration.