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The ex-BT Group chief executive was approached after Alcatel's board last week voted to remove Patricia Russo as chief executive and Serge Tchuruk as chairman after the company reported its sixth quarter of losses.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the two bosses had told the board separately that they could no longer work with each other.
The company is said to be unlikely to seek successors for the positions internally, and may merge the two posts into one.