Alcatel-Lucent to axe 10,000 to cut costs

Alcatel-Lucent, the telecoms giant formed by the 2006 merger of France's Alcatel and Lucent Technologies of the US, plans to shed 10,000 jobs worldwide as it attempts to cut costs in the face of heavy losses.

Michel Combes, the chief executive, said the plans involve cutting more than 4,000 jobs in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, almost 4,000 in the Asia-Pacific region and more than 2,000 in the Americas. The cuts are aimed at reducing costs by €1bn (£845m) by the end of 2015 and help the business move towards profitability.

"To carry out this plan, we must make difficult decisions and we will make them with open and transparent dialogue with our employees and their representatives," Mr Combes said as the company told its European Works Council, which represents employees' interests, of the move.

The business is trying to adapt to an increasingly competitive market place where telecoms equipment prices have been under pressure, eroding the margins of company's such as Alcatel-Lucent. The industry has also been hit by the European economic slowdown.

By slimming down, Alcatel plans to refocus its research and development efforts on new and potentially lucrative technologies such as 4G while cutting its spending on older technologies.

Mr Combes arrived at the business earlier this year from Vodafone, where he had been the chief executive of the UK mobile phone giant's European arm since 2008.

He said that the cuts were about the "company regaining control of its destiny" as it attempts to move out of the red. Alcatel-Lucent last year booked a net loss of more than €1.3bn on revenues of about €14.5bn, down by around 6 per cent in year-on-year terms.