INTERNATIONAL: Alcatel appoints Porro as part of top-level reshuffle

MADRID: Troubled French telecoms giant Alcatel has confirmed the appointment of Juan Porro as communications director across its interests in Spain, Portugal and Latin America.

Porro's appointment follows a managerial reshuffle earlier this year that extended Alcatel Spain president Alfredo Redondo's responsibilities to Portugal and Latin America, according to a company spokeswoman.

Reporting to Redondo, Porro has taken responsibility for PR work across Iberia, along with countries in Central and South America.

Before relocating to Spain, Porro handled PR for the group in France, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Porro said he was aiming to position Alcatel as the leading brand in its core telecoms infrastructure and broadband applications markets.

He said he will also seek to promote the benefits of an ongoing restructuring plan - the group is cutting costs via an extensive job-slashing programme - to the firm's shareholders.

Alcatel, one of France's largest companies, is a provider of telecoms technology in more than 130 countries. The group posted a £114m loss in the first quarter, hurt by volatile currencies and the continuing telecoms slump, with first-quarter sales 31 per cent lower than the same period in 2002.

The Paris-based group - which provides telecoms infrastructure and services, and whose rivals include Lucent - has predicted a gloomy outlook for the telecoms industry this year, but believes its restructuring initiatives will enable it to break even in 2003.

According to reports, the group's extensive package of cost-cuts will leave it with fewer than half the 113,000-strong workforce it employed at the height of the tech bubble.

Prior to his role handling PR for the group in France, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, Porro was head of IT at Alcatel's consulting firm FYCSA.

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