The Taming Of France Telecom

Michel Bon soothed labor and has privatization on track

When Michel Bon took charge of France Telecom in 1995, privatization of the phone monopoly was the government's bete noire. Each time officials made a move, militant unions staged massive strikes, forcing the government into a humiliating retreat. Bon's predecessor quit after just five days, making Bon the third president in three months. Unions struck within weeks of his arrival. Their ominous message to the newcomer: "Don't even think about privatizing."

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