FT: Lombard to stand down following employee suicides

3 Feb 2010

Didier Lombard, the chief executive of France Telecom (FT) which has been rocked by a wave of employee suicides, will step aside from the role hopefully to end the ongoing turmoil within the company. He will be replaced by Stephane Richard, Bloomberg reports, but will retain the role of chairman of the French giant. The plan to separate the function of CEO from chairman will be presented for recommendation to the FT board on 24 February and, if approved, will take effect 1 March 2010.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in October 2009 FT formally suspended its corporate restructuring programme until the end of the year, in the wake of the sad news that a 25th member of its workforce had committed suicide. Associated Press confirmed at the time that FT announced the suspension following a meeting with employee representatives called to address concerns over high levels of stress in the workplace. Didier Lombard has been the target of much criticism for the unfolding situation at the former state-owned telco, but said he would not resign. FT is reeling from a reported 34 suicides among its staff since January 2008.

France, Orange Group