International telecoms company Alcatel has appointed subsidiary Alcatel Optics Group's head of legal as the chief executive officer (CEO) of its UK and Ireland operations.
Charles Matthews has been at Alcatel for the last 15 years, during which time he has worked in commercial positions within the company's submarine networks and optics groups in Europe and Asia Pacific. This is the first time that Alcatel has elevated an in-house counsel to the CEO role. He replaces Eddie Minshull, who left the company recently to take up a position with Juniper Networks. Alcatel builds next generation networks in around 130 countries and had worldwide sales of $31bn (£21.18bn) in 2000. Its UK turnover is around f2.5bn (£1.55bn). Matthews will oversee the restructuring of Alcatel's businesses in the UK and his portfolio will cover submarine networks, satellites and telecom networks. Since his promotion, the legal department within the Optics Group has been restructured. John Lowe will head the submarine telecoms group at Greenwich, while Steve Slater will head the legal department for the Greenwich site itself.