Alcatel-Lucent to cut 10,000 jobs: reports

PARIS Mon Oct 7, 2013 3:33pm EDT

Visitors walk at the Alcatel-Lucent booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona February 28, 2012. REUTERS/Albert Gea

Visitors walk at the Alcatel-Lucent booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona February 28, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Albert Gea

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PARIS (Reuters) - Telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent plans to reduce its staff by 10,000 as part of a cost-cutting drive to save 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) by 2015, Les Echos and Le Figaro newspapers reported on their websites on Monday.

The group, which employs 72,000 staff worldwide, will axe 15,000 posts but create 5,000 new jobs, the newspapers said.

The company intends to cut 900 net posts in France, or roughly 10 percent of the domestic workforce, as well as closing sites at Rennes and Toulouse, and selling plants at Eu and Ormes, Les Echos said.

Le Figaro said the cuts would hit all regions, with 4,100 planned in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, 3,800 in Asia, and 2,100 in the Americas.

A spokeswoman for Alcatel-Lucent declined to comment.

The cuts are part of an effort by Michel Combes, who took the helm of Alcatel-Lucent in April, to streamline the company to focus on fewer products so as to reverse losses.

The group, which competes with larger rivals Ericsson, of Sweden, China's Huawei and Finland's Nokia, has posted five straight quarters of net losses.

Last year it swung to a net loss of 1.2 billion euros - the biggest since 2008 - largely because of a writedown on its mobile unit and restructuring costs from an earlier plan to lay off 5,000 workers.

Combes, who used to run telecom giant Vodafone's European businesses, is the third CEO to try to right Alcatel. He said in June when announcing his turnaround plan, which also calls for 1 billion euros of unspecified asset sales by 2015, that the group needed to bring its cost structure in line with peers.

The layoff plan is the latest in a series at Alcatel-Lucent. In autumn 2012, it announced moves to trim 5,000 workers from its base of 76,000 at the time, with the heaviest burden falling in France.

($1 = 0.7368 euros)

(Reporting by Leila Abboud; Editing by James Regan)

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