Orange Business is preparing for job cuts and strategic reorientation
Orange’s undecided CEO, Christel Heidemann, has held positions since taking over in April 2022. But that’s nothing compared to the Orange business, whose operating profit has collapsed by 35% in three years. With a turnover of €7.9 billion in 2022, this corporate division is 60 times heavier than the bank.
Hence the necessity for the operator to stop the slippage of these activities. Orange Business requires a ‘Extensive restructuring plan’During the presentation, on February 16, Christel Heidemann warned of her strategy for 2025. After several months of preparatory work, this plan is about to be launched. Orange’s management must announce the job cuts, Wednesday, March 22, during a meeting of the Social and Economic Committee.
Just under 700 jobs involved, out of the 5,700 represented by SCE, the Orange Business entity involved in this plan, as shown letter to Feb 16th. The existing activities in Orange Business SA (cloud, data management) and in Orange Cyberdefense (cybersecurity), which are increasing, are not affected by these job cuts. The stated goal is to end the operating profit hemorrhage in 2025, leaving another two years of decline on the horizon.
Find agreement on a traditional group hangout
The topic is sensitive. This will be the first voluntary departure scheme launched by the group since the suicide crisis in 2009. Over the past ten years, Orange has reduced its workforce in France, but always through natural departures, in particular by encouraging its employees to expect the elderly. They retire by working as a Senior Part-Timer (TPS). Since its inception in 2010, 42,000 Orange employees have benefited from this system, Including 7,600 in 2022 alone for the final year of TPS.
For these roughly 700 jobs, Orange Business hopes to be able to create a traditional collective break, but this requires obtaining majority agreement with the trade unions. Failing, the operator will then have to go through a voluntary departure scheme. Orange Business wants to count on the quality of the social dialogue that characterizes the groupsays Orange. In fact, it retains for social partners and employees the details of the methods to be proposed. »
For management, these employee movements are essential to making Division B to B a true digital service company, driven by cybersecurity and the cloud. This is to compensate for the decline in historical activities, which have rolled back due to Covid-19. Before the pandemic, Orange Business installed telephone servers in companies and landlines on the offices of its employees. But since 2020, video conferencing apps (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, etc.) and telework have become obsolete on a landline phone. In three years, Orange Business’ fixed-line communications activities have seen a turnover of €500m rise.
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