A departure plan of 700 people expected at Orange Business

As part of the “Lead the future” strategic savings plan, announced in February, the incumbent operator is preparing to cut nearly 700 jobs in its business services branch. might be presented this Wednesday by management to staff representatives.

Weighed down by disappointing financial results, Orange Business, formerly Orange Business Services, plans to cut nearly 700 jobs out of the 5,700 in the BToB subsidiary of the incumbent operator. According to information published in letter A of March 16, confirmed by Le Monde and Les Echos, a device such as that of the conventional break should be presented this Wednesday by the management to the trade unions. Objective ? Enable the group’s business division to return to growth by 2025 at the latest. Impacted, it posted a very weak increase in 2022 turnover (+0.2%) on a comparable basis at €7.93 billion for an operating profit down 18.8%, struggling to exceed €800 million. On the occasion of this financial report, Aliette Mousnier-Lompré, CEO of Orange Business had indicated: “The hybrid approach of OBS, half-telco and half-digital associated with a very large portfolio of activities has created difficulties in maneuvering the company”, adding that “this situation leads us to a decisive overhaul of the operating model”.

The hundreds of cuts mentioned at Orange Business would be part of the 2030 strategic cost reduction plan “Lead the future” presented in February by the CEO of Orange Christel Heydemann. Over the past year, Orange closed a complicated 2022 fiscal year with revenue virtually stagnating compared to 2021 (+0.6%) at €43.47 billion. Contacted by the editorial staff on the Orange Business departure plan, the telecommunications operator’s communication department replied: “As announced on February 16, the operational implementation of our strategy concerning Orange Business will be the subject of a presentation to the social partners at the end of March 2023. In fact, we reserve the details of the methods that would be proposed for staff representatives and collaborators”.

A strategy centered on cost reduction

The outlines of this plan on the date of the planned departures, the sectors and the positions affected have not, however, been disclosed. The enterprise division’s cloud, data management and cybersecurity activities, which are more important in terms of added value, would not be affected by these cuts. Asked regarding the use of foreign subcontractors for certain activities of its business division, Orange management did not respond to our request. As a reminder, the operator has begun its social transformation via an early retirement plan into which 7,600 people have joined since the beginning of 2022. Objective? Generate €600 million in savings.

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For Sébastien Crozier, president of the CFE-CGC union at Orange, the pressure exerted by Arcep once morest the group for its abuse of a dominant position and its high prices has significant consequences for the operator’s activities on the professional market. “This situation imposes constraints in the name of competition on the company rather than favoring employment”, considers the union representative. For him, this management strategy by reducing costs is reminiscent of Didier Lombard’s policy. After the privatization of France Telecom, management implemented two restructuring plans (from 2007 to 2010) providing for the departure of 22,000 employees and the mobility of 10,000 others, out of the group’s 120,000 employees. Several dozen employees had committed suicide during this period.

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