Alcatel-Lucent to cut 15,000 jobs to focus on few businesses, reports say

The French telecommunications equipment maker aims to transform itself into an IP networking and ultra-broadband specialist

Alcatel-Lucent will announce Tuesday up to 15,000 job cuts by 2015 as the company tries to focus on a few core businesses, according to reports.

The loss-making telecommunications equipment vendor also plans to add 5,000 new staff in the growth areas it has identified, the reports said, citing unnamed sources.

Alcatel-Lucent in Paris, France, said in July that its revenue in the second quarter was €3.6 billion (US$4.7 billion), up 1.9 percent year-over-year. Net loss, however, grew to €885 million from €396 million in the same quarter last year.

In June the company announced a new strategic plan under new CEO Michel Combes who took charge in April.

Called "The Shift Plan," it aims to transform Alcatel-Lucent into an IP networking and ultra-broadband specialist, with a growing and cash generative business and a sound balance sheet by the end of 2015.

The plan is based on current changes in the telecommunications sector, the company said in a regulatory filing. Web scale Internet operators and users must manage the constant growth of the volume of data traffic and the end of networks initially conceived for voice communications, it added.

The implementation of the strategic plan is planned to generate at least €1 billion of exceptional cash flows through monetization of assets and other divestitures or phase-outs, in addition to fixed costs savings of €1 billion.

The cuts at the company could be aimed to make it slimmer before a rumored deal with Nokia after the Finnish company has divested its handsets business to Microsoft.

Alcatel-Lucent had about 72,000 employees as of Dec. 31. The company could not be immediately reached for comment.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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