French-US telecoms equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent has named Ben Verwaayen, former head of British telecoms group BT, and Philippe Camus, co-director of French media group Lagardere, in a new top management team.

They will replace the founders of Alcatel-Lucent, Serge Tchuruk and Patricia Russo, who resigned at the end of July to allow the group to make a fresh start after suffering six straight quarterly losses.

Camus, a senior partner at French media group Lagardere, is to replace Tchuruk as non-executive chairman from October 1, while Verwaayen will take over as chief executive replacing Russo.

The December 2006 merger between Alcatel and Lucent was intended to give both parties the power to overcome damage from the high-tech bubble, disruption from digital technology, challenges from opening markets and fierce competition from new rivals in Asia.

But the group reported a second-quarter loss of €1.1 billion. This was the sixth quarterly loss in a row and came amid a global restructuring to shed 16,500 jobs by 2009.