'Alcatel-Lucent's future at risk', says CEO
PARIS: Alcatel-Lucent's future is at risk after the telecoms company missed key technological shifts and has been in the red since 2006, its chief executive Michel Combes warned yesterday as workers prepared to protest against job cuts.
The Franco-American group last week unveiled plans to slash 10,000 jobs worldwide, including 900 in France, arguing the cuts were its last chance to stem years of losses and turn the company around.
The French government, battling against years of de-industrialisation and high unemployment, has warned it could use new labour rules to block the plan amid calls by labour unions to take to the streets here to protest against the plans.
"This company could disappear," Combes told Europe 1 radio, noting it had been loss-making since Alcatel merged with Lucent in 2006.
"The plan sets targets that are key to the survival of the company... But it can obviously be improved. That's the point of the social talks that begin today," he said.
Combes said he had four months to negotiate with unions the terms and the timeframe of the restructuring. Reuters