Alcatel-Lucent cuts jobs in new turnaround plan

TELECOM equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent announced plans yesterday to cut an overall 10,000 jobs worldwide in what its chief executive called a last chance to turn the company around from heavy losses.

Alcatel-Lucent, the product of a 2006 Franco-US merger aimed at creating a global giant, told a European works council meeting it intends to axe nearly one in seven of its employees.

Altogether, 4,100 posts will go in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, 3,800 in Asia Pacific, and 2,100 in the Americas.

This is the latest step in a so-called Shift Plan announced in June to focus on high-growth areas ranging from 4G mobile to high-speed broadband, and to lower fixed costs by more than 15 per cent, saving a total of €1bn (£844.2m).

“The Shift Plan is about the company regaining control of its destiny,” chief executive Michel Combes said in a statement.

“Everyone knows this plan is the last chance. The company is in a very serious situation,” Combes, the latest of three CEOs since the merger to try to stabilise the group, told Le Monde newspaper.

Including past measures, the total cost of the plan is €1.2bn, an amount the company expects to fund through asset sales.

The group, which employs 72,000 staff worldwide and competes with larger rivals Ericsson of Sweden, China’s Huawei and Finland’s Nokia, has posted five straight quarters of net losses.