Christel Heydemann had made the
"recovery of Orange Business Services"
one of the pillars of the group during the presentation of its strategic plan a few weeks ago.
Unsurprisingly, this should go through a downsizing.
In its Saturday edition,
indicated that a plan to cut 700 jobs was under study in this recently renamed Orange Business division.
This must be proposed at the Central Social and Economic Committee (CSEC) on Wednesday.
Information confirmed to
by the unions.
Although it is a major center of activity for Orange, with more than 7.9 billion euros in turnover in 2022, Orange Business is suffering from a profitability that is collapsing from year to year.
Its Ebidtaal - one of the group's main financial indicators - has indeed collapsed by 32% in the space of three years to reach 804 million euros in 2022. Of course, the profitability of this division is weakened by the addition of economic factors such as the rise in the cost of energy, inflation on the markets, the war in Ukraine, and the shortage of components which is delaying many projects.
Structurally, this division must also deal with the transformation of demand from business customers.
In its annual results,
(Operating income, Editor's note)
due to the acceleration of the decline of Voice and Data services not offset by growth drivers whose margins are lower.
A pivoting organization
The shift in the organization was certainly initiated in September by Aliette Mousnier-Lompre, the CEO of Orange Business.
The boss of OBS listed various priorities, in particular supporting the transformation of her clients' digital infrastructures with the Cloud and cybersecurity.
The second point concerns data and artificial intelligence.
Then come the new methods of collaboration in the company, the transformation of the customer experience and contact centers and, finally, industry 4.0 with a very clear rise in power of OBS in the fields of the Internet of objects, digital twins and the supervision of machines by artificial intelligence.
Until this reorganization produces its effects, the plan of 700 job cuts obviously aims to improve profitability.
Orange has undertaken to return to Ebidtaal growth for Orange Business from 2025. At this stage, Orange management favors recourse to a collective contractual termination.
But this will require a majority agreement of the unions, which will be difficult to obtain.
A voluntary departure plan is not to be excluded if the first procedure were not to succeed.
This should primarily affect employees in so-called connectivity hubs, which are suffering, as well as France, according to a trade unionist.
Cyber defense activities, which are growing, would not be affected.
The message is worrying.
It consists in saying that the staff located in France costs too much.
To reduce costs, we will relocate activities to
India or Mauritius.
Does this meet the strategic challenges of Orange Business?
,” says Stéphane Crozier, president of CFE-CGC Orange, the majority union.