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Lucent to lay off 240 employees

The struggling networking company says it will lay off 240 employees this month, mostly in corporate operations.

Lucent Technologies on Wednesday said it will lay off 240 employees this month, mostly in corporate operations.

None of the layoffs is part of the executive changes announced Tuesday, a Lucent spokeswoman said. One hundred employees have been notified that they have been laid off, and the remaining 140 will get their layoff notifications soon, the spokeswoman said.

As Lucent executives stated last month, the company is considering more layoffs as it continues to reorganize over the coming months, the spokeswoman said.

Lucent on Tuesday announced plans to integrate its sales and professional service organizations and changed the roles of several senior executives as part of its ongoing restructuring efforts.

The latest realignment by the beleaguered telecommunications equipment maker represents the first move by interim chief executive Henry Schacht, who took over the helm two weeks ago after former chief executive Richard McGinn resigned.

Consolidating the services organization and the international and North American sales teams under one umbrella will allow Lucent to tackle business opportunities faster, a Lucent representative said. "We want to get our resources lined up for the best market opportunities, so we can have a more coordinated approach in working with customers."

Lucent, which has struggled financially in the past year, recently integrated its three services units into one.

As part of Tuesday's move, Lucent vice chairman Ben Verwaayen will run the company's worldwide marketing, sales and services. Bob Holder, previously Lucent's executive vice president of corporate operations, will handle the company's product teams, manufacturing and internal operations.

Chief financial officer Deborah Hopkins will also handle the company's internal computing infrastructure. All three executives will report to Schacht, the Lucent representative said.

Lucent, which has made four profit warnings this year, is in the midst of a major restructuring as it tries to focus on the fast-growing service provider market. It has already spun off Avaya, which sells networking products to companies, and it plans to spin off its chipmaking and optical component business.

Over the past year, Lucent has been hit hard by a faster-than-expected decline in the sale of its traditional voice equipment and slow sales of its newer Internet-based products, such as optical networking equipment.