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Patricia Russo

Patricia Russo

Pat Russo is the retired Chief Executive Officer of Alcatel-Lucent.  She was a driving force and a key architect behind the creation of Alcatel-Lucent, making this merger the first bold move in an industry ripe for consolidation.  Under her leadership, from December 2006 through September, 2008 Alcatel-Lucent strengthened its market positions in a number of areas, such as optical and wireless networking and services, enhanced customer relationships, improved its operating efficiency and streamlined its management structure.

Prior to the merger of Alcatel and Lucent, Russo was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucent Technologies for five years.  She led the company through one of the most challenging periods in the telecom industry’s history, returning the company to profitability after the severe telecom industry ‘crash’.  Under her leadership Lucent embarked on a new strategy to enhance its services capabilities, implemented a new operating model, developed a more customer focused culture, expanded into emerging markets and enhanced the role and reach of Bell Labs.

As one of the founding executives of Lucent, she helped launch the company in 1996 and over more than a 20 year career, managed some of Lucent’s and AT&T’s largest divisions and most critical corporate functions.  Before joining AT&T, Russo spent eight years in sales and marketing at IBM.

Just prior to returning to Lucent as its CEO in January of 2002, Russo served as president and chief operating officer of Kodak where she helped to reshape its strategy and operations to compete effectively in the transformation to digital technology.

Russo serves on the board of the new General Motors, where she is the lead director and chairs the Executive Compensation Committee.  She also serves on the boards of Alcoa and Merck and is Chairman of the Partnership for a Drug-freeAmerica.  She is a member of the US Business Council and the New York Economic Club.

Respected as a thought leader in the industry, Russo was appointed by President George W. Bush as vice chair of the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC) in April, 2003.   With the creation of Alcatel-Lucent she stepped down from NSTAC in May 2006.  Russo has also previously served on several other Boards of Directors including, Alcatel-Lucent, Lucent, Xerox, Avaya and the Georgetown University Board of Trustees.

Russo’s leadership has been widely acknowledged on countless occasions.  She was named to Fortune Magazines list of the Most Powerful Women in American Business six times between 1998, and 2005.  In 2006 she was ranked No. 1 on Fortune’s International List of Most Powerful Women in Business.  Russo was also named to Forbes’ Most Powerful Women’s List in 2005, 2006, 2007.  In 2006, Time Magazine named her to the Time 100 list of “People Who Shape Our World”. 

In 2007 Russo was awarded the French-American Foundation’s 2007 BenjaminFranklinAward, the French-American Foundation’s highest honor for contributions to the French-American relationship.

Russo received her undergraduate degree fromGeorgetownand completed the Advanced Management Program atHarvardUniversityin 1989.  She has received an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology.