PARIS — The chief executive of Alcatel-Lucent, Ben Verwaayen, is leaving the maker of telecommunications gear after a failed four-year bid to return it to profitability. He said it was ‘‘clear to me that now is an appropriate moment’’ for the company to seek new leadership.
Alcatel-Lucent lost $1.83 billion last year.
Verwaayen’s agreed to stay on as caretaker until a successor is found. He joined Alcatel-Lucent in 2008 after the ouster of Patricia Russo, an American. Russo and her French counterpart Serge Tchuruk had masterminded the $11.6 billion merger of Lucent, a US company, and Alcatel, of France.
Alcatel-Lucent supplies telecom operators and corporations the technology for building global communications networks. It has suffered from repeated rounds of costly layoffs and restructuring, as well as intense competition from Ericsson, Huawei, and Nokia Siemens Networks.