Patricia Russo and Serge Tchuruk—respectively, the CEO and the chairman of global telecom equipment firm Alcatel-Lucent—announced they will step down by year’s end, nearly two years after orchestrating the merger of their companies. In 2006, Paris-based Alcatel combined with Lucent Technologies, the onetime equipment and research arm of the legacy AT&T. Although the goal of the merger had been to gain the scale needed to compete with the rising tide of equipment manufacturers cropping up in Asia, the combined Alcatel-Lucent has struggled financially in the wake of competitive pressures and declining stock values. Recently, Russo convinced the Alcatel-Lucent board to approve a turnaround plan that envisions the installation of a streamlined management team and a smaller board with “several new members with strong industry expertise.” Declaring, “our strategy is taking hold, and our results are demonstrating good operational progress,” Russo said, “I believe it is the right time for me to step down.” Russo, who is expected to assist in the search for her replacement, said she would leave as soon as a successor is found but no later than December 31. Tchuruk, who is scheduled to depart on October 1, explained, “it is now time the company acquires a personality of its own, independent from its two predecessors.”