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Orange sets out new five-year plan

France Telecom-Orange group CEO Stéphane Richard has pledged to  recruit 10,000 new employees in France by 2012 and increase the firm’s global subscriber base to 300 million by 2015 as part of a wide-reaching overhaul of the firm announced on Monday.

The firm faces three central challenges – “an unprecedented social crisis in France, a fast changing ecosystem anda  tense competitive and regulatory environment” – Richard said. These would be overcome as part of the five-year project, which Orange has dubbed “Conquests 2015”.

Richard, who took the helm at Orange on March 1st, inherited a firm deep in crisis, which has been rocked over the last two years by a spate of employee suicides. And of the four strategic elements the new plan is built on, re-invigorating a jaded workforce is the most urgent. Without making direct reference to the suicides, the details of the plan that Richard announced Monday acknowledge the problem. “The Group is committed to offering its employees a beneficial working environment thanks to a new vision of human resources,” the firm said in its announcement.

It expects to spend €900m as part of a “new social contract” for France by the end of 2012. The 10,000-strong recruitment drive is intended in part to combat the problem of a rising average age among the group’s employee base.

The firm said is will back this up with an investment programme in its networks, which it described as its “core business and its future”. Earlier this year Orange announced the deployment of a €2bn fibre network for France and Richard said it will press on with LTE deployment “as soon as the regulations are in place.”

Clearly Orange feels that it has dropped off the pace in terms of customer relationship management, with the firm making a further pledge to “regain the trust of its customers” and promising to place “a higher value in the loyalty of its existing customers”. But it will strive, at the same time, to renew its growth in emerging markets, where it expects sales to double over the next five years.

These are grand claims and doubtless well motivated, but Richard gave little information as to how he plans to finance such substantial investments. Indeed the firm said that the financial details of the four objectives will be worked out during the second phase of the programme, which will run from mid-July to autumn this year. At that point, Richard said, he will explain how his project will be funded.


2 comments

  1. Avatar George Dellaportas 05/07/2010 @ 3:59 pm

    If Orange execute this plan ,it will be a great “push” for all European telecom market.
    I want to do a question also, there some rumors here in Greece that Orange will buy-out Wind (Greek operator that belongs to Orascom group).Are these rumors based on something? Thank you.

  2. Avatar Claire Fisher 08/07/2010 @ 1:14 pm

    And what about the API-Initiative? I’ve heard the OpenAPI-Programm of Orange is the most successful by Telcos.

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