Alcatel-Lucent (UNKNOWN:ALU.DL) CEO Ben Verwaayen is leaving the company he has headed for the past four years, but will stay on until a successor is put in a place, Alcatel-Lucent announced today. Verwaayen will also not seek re-election to the board of directors.

Verwaayen's leaving comes as Alcatel-Lucent has just posted a fourth-quarter earnings release showing its revenues have declined 1.3% from the same period last year, though up 13.8% from the previous quarter. It also showed a net loss of $1.8 billion for the quarter.

Verwaayen was quoted in the company press release as saying it was "clear to me that now is an appropriate moment for the Board to seek fresh leadership to take the company forward."

Chairman of the Board Phillipe Camus is part of a committee searching for a replacement for Verwaayen that will run "a full and independent process to find a successor, looking at both internal and external candidates."

Alcatel-Lucent's NYSE stock price rose as much as 4% on the news.