Telecoms’ green future

30 Sep 2010

The global telecoms industry has a responsibility in tackling climate change and building a better world, says Ben Verwaayen, the CEO of €15bn-a-year Alcatel-Lucent.

On a quiet street in the seventh arrondissement of Paris, overshadowed by the Eiffel Tower, is the headquarters of one of the most powerful telecoms equipment companies in the world. Inside an elegant, seemingly traditional, Parisian building, the digital revolution of voice, video and data – which is impacting governments, businesses and individuals – is being directed in hushed tones.

Ben Verwaayen, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent, is early for his interview. He has a busy day ahead and wants to get down to it. In front of me is a man responsible for a workforce of 77,000 people and revenues of $15bn a year. He is also responsible for a legacy in the telecoms industry that extends back into the 19th century.

Prior to his role as CEO of Alcatel-Lucent Verwaayen was CEO of BT and is known as “the man who brought broadband to Britain”. A Dutch national, Verwaayen is passionate about climate change. He is regular attendee at the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos and a signatory of the WEF’s letter to the G-20 heads of state on tackling climate change.

I put it to Verwaayen that while telecoms has never been more central to human life and business, the industry is struggling in the face of recession.

By John Kennedy

Read more of ‘Telecoms’ green future’ at Digital 21.

Ben Verwaayen will be speaking via video link at the TIF 17th Annual Conference on 12 October. – Digital 21 is a campaign to highlight the imperative of creating an action programme to secure the digital infrastructure and services upon which the success of our economy depends.

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John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years