UPDATE 1-Alcatel CEO Verwaayen to quit in May -paper

Wed Feb 6, 2013 4:15pm EST

PARIS Feb 6 (Reuters) - Alcatel-Lucent Chief Executive Ben Verwaayen will step down after the company's May 7 annual shareholder meeting when his current contract expires, Le Monde reported on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for the telecom equipment maker had no immediate comment about the report on the French daily's website, but a union source confirmed that the CEO's departure had been agreed.

The decision not to renew Verwaayen's contract was finalised at a board meeting on Wednesday, according to the report, which quoted anonymous sources.

Under Verwaayen, who took over the top job in 2008, the troubled company returned to full-year profit in 2011 for the first time since the Franco-American merger that created it five years earlier.

But earnings swung back into the red last year as a result of spending cutbacks by telecommunications operator, especially in China and Europe.

Verwaayen's exit is to be announced along with fourth-quarter results on Thursday, Le Monde said.

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