Orange Business prepares for job cuts and strategic reorientation

Orange Business prepares for job cuts and strategic reorientation

The undecided future of Orange Bank, home to recurring losses, has preoccupied Christel Heydemann, the CEO of Orange, since taking office in April 2022. But this is nothing compared to Orange Business, whose profit operational collapsed by 35% in three years. With its 7.9 billion euros in turnover in 2022, this division dedicated to businesses is 60 times heavier than the bank.

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Hence the urgency of the operator to stop the slippage of these activities. Orange Business requires a “intense restructuring plan”, warned Christel Heydemann during the presentation, on February 16, of its strategy for 2025. After several months of preparatory work, this plan is about to be launched. The management of Orange must announce job cuts, Wednesday, March 22, during a social and economic committee.

A little less than 700 positions are concerned, out of the 5,700 accounted for by SCE, the Orange Business entity concerned by this plan, as indicated The letter a February 16. The activities housed at Orange Business SA (cloud, data management) and at Orange Cyberdefense (cybersecurity), which are growing, are not affected by these job cuts. The stated objective is to put an end to the haemorrhage of operating profit in 2025, which leaves two more years of decline on the horizon.

Search for an agreement on a collective conventional break

The subject is sensitive. This would be the first voluntary departure plan launched by the group since the suicide crisis of 2009. Over the past ten years, Orange has reduced its workforce in France, but always through natural departures, in particular by encouraging its employees to older people to anticipate their retirement via part-time senior work (TPS). Since its creation in 2010, 42,000 Orange employees have taken advantage of this system, including 7,600 in 2022 alone for the last year of the TPS.

For these approximately 700 positions, Orange Business hopes to be able to set up a collective conventional break, but this requires obtaining a majority agreement with the trade unions. In the event of failure, the operator would then have to go through a voluntary departure plan. “Orange Business wishes to rely on the quality social dialogue that characterizes the groupindicates Orange. In fact, it reserves for the social partners and employees the details of the methods that would be proposed. »

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For management, these staff movements are essential to make the B to B division a real digital services company, driven by cybersecurity and the cloud. This is to compensate for the fall in historical activities, rolled by the Covid-19. Before the pandemic, Orange Business installed telephone servers in companies and landlines on the desks of their employees. But since 2020, videoconferencing applications (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, etc.) and telecommuting have outmoded the landline phone. In three years, the fixed telecom activities of Orange Business have seen 500 million euros in turnover soar.

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