Russo will oversee the restructuring begun by Henry Schacht, current president and chief executive officer, as the company adjusts to radical structural changes forced by losses in a weak economy. Schacht plans to remain Lucent's chairman for an interim period expected to be no longer than a year.
Lucent spun off its microelectronics business, Agere Systems in April, cut its own product portfolio and eliminated many manufacturing facilities by outsourcing production to contract manufacturers or closing facilities altogether.
Lucent cut about 39,000 jobs from the 106,000-strong workforce last year and may cut its staffing numbers by another 15,000 to 20,000 workers, according to filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Before leaving Lucent, Russo was executive vice-president and chief executive officer of the company's service provider networks division - the business unit producing equipment for telephone companies and Internet service providers. This division is expected to become Lucent's core operating business with its restructuring, a spokesperson for Lucent said.