Alcatel-Lucent has struggled for years. Its CEO looks to a future filled with mobile data to switch on the profits

Pascal Sittler / Rea / Redux

Ben Verwaayen, directeur general of Alcatel Lucent.

In September 2008, Dutchman Ben Verwaayen took over as CEO of the struggling telecommunications equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent. In February, the French company announced its first quarterly operating profit since its 2006 merger — but year-over-year sales were still off by 20%. He spoke with TIME's Barbara Kiviat.

How much of an economic recovery do you see?
It differs very much whether you sit in Beijing or in the West. People are, in general, willing to believe that the worst is behind us, but that does not necessarily mean the worst is behind us. Things are fragile. There is some robustness, but...

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