UPDATED: Alcatel-Lucent will cut 10,000-15,000 jobs

By Andrew Collins
Thursday, 10 October, 2013

UPDATED: Alcatel-Lucent will cut 10,000-15,000 jobs

Alcatel-Lucent will cut between 10,000 and 15,000 jobs worldwide before 2016, while also adding new positions to bring the net reduction to 10,000.

The cuts are a part of the company’s ‘Shift Plan’, announced in June, which the company says aims to “ensure a sustainable financial future and a successful transformation of the company” and “to restore profitability to the company”.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Paris time, the company said it would reduce its global headcount by approximately 10,000 jobs - almost 14% of its entire workforce - by the end of 2015, with “all geographic areas where Alcatel-Lucent operates [contributing] to this effort”.

This would involve a reduction of 4100 positions in Europe, Middle East and Africa; 3800 in Asia Pacific; and 2100 in the Americas, the statement said.

Michel Combes, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent, said: “To carry out this plan we must make difficult decisions and we will make them with open and transparent dialogue with our employees and their representatives. The Shift Plan is about the company regaining control of its destiny.”

The numbers

The exact nature of the 10,000-strong staff reduction is not clear as yet.

According to gigaom, an unnamed spokesperson from Alcatel-Lucent said that this reduction of 10,000 positions would actually involve cutting 15,000 staff, with the intention of creating 5000 jobs “over time in the areas where we might have need”.

But according to the Boston Globe, Alcatel-Lucent spokesman Simon Poulter “revised his statement in an earlier interview that suggested an additional 5000 jobs were possible”.

(Note: It’s not clear if the spokesperson quoted by gigaom was in fact Simon Poulter, but given both spokespeople mentioned the addition of 5000 jobs, it seems likely it either was him or a second spokesperson working from similar material.)

“Poulter said the company also expects to add 3700 new employees to bring the skills of its workforce in line with research and development goals. He stressed there will be a net reduction of 10,000 jobs, but declined to comment further,” the Globe piece said.

Poulter also said the jobs would be eliminated through a combination of layoffs, outsourcing and attrition, according to the Globe.

So, the only reliable official word here is that the overall reduction of jobs will equal approximately 10,000. The rest of the details are murky, but it seems that the initial cuts will be greater than this - potentially reaching 13,700 or even 15,000 - with other staff added later, perhaps in other areas of the business, to bring the net losses back to about 10,000.

We’ve contacted Alcatel-Lucent for clarification and will update this story once we hear back.

UPDATE: An Australian Alcatel-Lucent spokesperson declined to comment on how many jobs would be cut, and how many would be added, to make up the net reduction of 10,000.

The spokesperson could not comment on job cuts in Australia or New Zealand.

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