Alcatel-Lucent to cut 10,000 jobs by 2016

Oct. 8, 2013 at 1:38 PM
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PARIS, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Telecommunications giant Alcatel-Lucent said in Paris it would implement a restructuring plan that cuts 10,000 jobs and $1.36 billion in operating costs.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday the plan ends up with a net loss of 10,000 jobs, but includes the elimination of 15,000 positions and the hiring of 5,000 as the company phases out older wireless technology and forges ahead with updated equipment.

"Facing a difficult situation, a crisis situation, it is necessary for Alcatel to retake control of its destiny," Chief Executive Officer Michael Combes said in an interview.

The plan includes moving the company's headquarters from its pricey Parisian location near the Eiffel Tower to more modest offices out of town, the Journal said.

In addition to cutting costs, the company said it planned to sell about $1.3 billion of its assets.

The jobs on the chopping block include 4,100 jobs in Europe, the Middle East and Africa -- 900 of them in France. Some 3,800 other employees in the Asia-Pacific region will be let go. In the Americas, 2,100 jobs will be erased, the company said.

At the end of 2012, the company had 72,000 employees. The new plan, dubbed the Shift Plan, combined with job cuts announced earlier, put the company's expected headcount at about 58,000 by the end of 2015.

By switching focus on newer technologies, the company said it would cut spending on established technologies by 60 percent and spend 85 percent of its research and development budget on new technologies.

The plan was announced Tuesday in Paris at a union meeting.

The union pledged to respond.

"It is unthinkable to allow this new bloodletting to occur without acting," the French Confederation of Labor said.

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