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Alcatel Cost-Cut Plan to Include Workforce Adjustments

Alcatel-Lucent SA’s strategic shift unveiled yesterday will result in workforce “adjustments,” said Chief Executive Officer Michel Combes, who’s preparing to meet with unions in the coming weeks.

The French network-equipment vendor is planning departures, staff reallocations and hiring some people with skills it is missing, Combes said in an interview in Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs France research facilities in Villarceaux, near Paris. The company announced the 1 billion-euro ($1.3 billion) cost-reduction plan yesterday to stem losses.

“It’s clear that a 1 billion-euro cost reduction will trigger labor adjustments in different countries around the world,” Combes said. “We need to see how we can reallocate competences and hire people with new competences. The plan will probably also mean a few departures.”

Alcatel-Lucent, which has 72,000 employees worldwide, yesterday outlined a three-year plan to sell more than 1 billion euros of assets and cut costs to return to profit after seven years of restructuring and two CEO changes failed to revive the company.

Alcatel-Lucent shares rose 2.2 percent to 1.53 euros at 4 p.m. in Paris, more than double what they were worth when they hit a 23-year low in October.

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