Alcatel-Lucent, one of the world’s leading telecommunications equipment makers, has announced a 14 per cent cut in its workforce, amounting to 10,000 job losses.
The company’s Shift Plan includes reducing research and development (R&D) spend on legacy technologies by 60 per cent as well as reducing administrative, sales and support costs to bring the company “in line with industry standards”.
Michael Combes, Alcatel-Lucent chief executive officer (CEO), said they wanted to increased R&D investment in next-generation technologies to 85 per cent of total spend from its 65 per cent currently.
“The strategic choices we made have been validated by our customers,” said Combes. “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 job losses are being spread across the company’s operations with 4,100 positions going in Europe, Middle East and Africa, 3,800 in Asia Pacific and 2,100 in the Americas by the end of 2015.
Alcatel-Lucent is also going to halve its number of business hubs globally.
The manufacturer and network specialists launched West Africa’s first commercially available LTE network in Ghana in July this year, in partnership with Surfline Communications, and Daniel Jaeger, vice president for Africa at the company, told HumanIPO in September they were targeting more partnerships.
As well as its partnership in Ghana, Alcatel-Lucent has been working on 4G services with Smile Communications in Tanzania and has completed superfast broadband trials with Tunisie Telecom in North Africa.
Jaeger said at the time: “If you look at it from a population point of view, it is an opportunity to provide services that some people do not have.”
During the same interview, Luis Martinez Amago, president Europe Middle East and Africa at Alcatel-Lucent, said: “It’s a very natural place for us to be. We do believe it is a market that will keep growing for a number of years.”