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Businesses The Almighty Buck

Alcatel-Lucent To Cut 10,000 Workers, Calls It "Shift Plan" 75

Posted by timothy
from the drop-the-f dept.
Dawn Kawamoto writes "Alcatel-Lucent is planning to cut 10,000 workers by 2015. The telecom equipment maker's newly minted CEO calls this restructuring part of his Shift Plan. Under this plan, Alcatel-Lucent wants to save 1 billion Euros in costs and refocus its operations on next-gen IP networking, cloud and ultra-broadband access and away from legacy technologies like its 2G and 3G wireless. In the meantime, Wall Street thinks it may be cleaning itself up for a sale of some of its assets or its operations to Nokia, which will need to bolster its telecom equipment business after selling its smartphone operations to Microsoft. But a Nokia-Microsoft deal may be too little, too late."
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Alcatel-Lucent To Cut 10,000 Workers, Calls It "Shift Plan"

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  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:14AM (#45069647) Homepage

    Refocus on some vague next gen thing.

    Where have we seen this movie before?

    Nothing to see here, move along.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Couldn't agree more. Unless you are cutting some CEOs and directors.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "We will cut 100k ppl because... cloud....4g.....outsourcing....smartsizing"
    *Shareholders applauding to buzzwords*

  • In India; Alcatel makes smartphones for Idea Cellular; and they are quite good. Very rugged; good specs; fairly low cost - $120 for a 5" smartphone.

    Wonder if this move is to get eventually swallowed like Nokia - except the CxOs; nobody else benefits.

    • In India; Alcatel makes smartphones for Idea Cellular; and they are quite good. Very rugged; good specs; fairly low cost - $120 for a 5" smartphone.

      Wonder if this move is to get eventually swallowed like Nokia - except the CxOs; nobody else benefits.

      My understanding is that they have only lent their name to the phones and don't actually have anything to do with them but are made by a 3rd party.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Take the assets of a struggling company, combine them those of another struggling company, and combine both of those with a third struggling company and what do you get?

    A blue chip stock, that's what! Definitely time to hand out performance bonuses to top management.

  • Alcatel-Lucent has been hemorrhaging jobs for what feels longer than a decade. Time to just close up shop and put all the assets on the chopping block.
  • RIP Bell Labs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ErichTheRed (39327) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:44AM (#45070001)

    A-L has been going down the tubes for quite a while. It's pretty amazing to think that part of the company used to be the mighty Bell Labs. You know, Unix, the transistor, one of the last corporate-funded basic research institutes... It kind of makes me want to have the old AT&T monopoly back just to have that.

    Admittedly, they probably do have huge legacy costs in the form of less productive employees and products that don't make them as much money anymore. Also, the telecom landscape has changed a lot over the years. I work for a similar company, and while our group works on newish stuff, there's a ton of older products just sitting around that used to be very high margin and no longer have the revenue to support their costs.

    That said, it's never good when an older, established company suddenly announces a monster layoff like this. In the older companies, you just know it's going to be 10,000 58-year-olds in the developed countries who will suddenly find themselves out of work with zero prospects for new employment, hanging on until Social Security kicks in. That's the sad part of these "smartsizings" -- when you're just a number in a spreadsheet, companies have no idea how much you still have to offer in terms of talent and experience. I'm approaching the ripe old age of 40 now, and am constantly staying on top of all the new stuff just to keep the skill set sharp. That's one thing I could do without in the IT "profession" -- so much new buzzwordy stuff is rehashes of technology decades old with better supporting technology. Too bad Gartner and their ilk are the only ones that CIOs listen to!

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      "A-L has been going down the tubes for quite a while. It's pretty amazing to think that part of the company used to be the mighty Bell Labs."

      Not really, bad or short sighted leadership can take even the biggest company down to the rocks in a short time. When all that matters is "next quarters profits" your company will be in the shithole within 5 years.

      • by gtall (79522)

        Yes, but in A-L's case, they made the mistake of Carly Fiorina. She did what a lot of companies did, she lent money to her customers to buy Lucent stuff. Alcatel was incredibly blind to buy Lucent. After 3 years at L, Carly gave H-P the kiss of death, her being a serial failure.

        • Yes, but in A-L's case, they made the mistake of Carly Fiorina. She did what a lot of companies did, she lent money to her customers to buy Lucent stuff. Alcatel was incredibly blind to buy Lucent. After 3 years at L, Carly gave H-P the kiss of death, her being a serial failure.

          It started well before Fiorina. And I was dumbfounded at the idea of it when I started working there. Merging with Alcatel was just a cash infusion for Lucent and now it's back down to the bottom. Who will be the next buyer to keep it going!

    • remember when Nortel crashed in canada. the pillars are falling down :(
      • While many good people lost their job in Nortel, there was a LOT of deadwood at Nortel. Kanata has never been the same since.

        We had one upgrade with Nortel telecom equipment, where I had one engineer and five (or six) project managers. You need one or sometimes even two good project managers, but never FIVE, especially when the engineer is doing all the heavy lifting (figuratively and literally). So by charging us $300/hr, we knew we were subsidizing several crappy layers of ineffeciency.

        A-L may in a si

        • I remember when Nortel was at it largest I had a job and part of my responsibilities involved going around to install software. One of the problems Nortel had was that the level of a manager was determined by the number of people reporting to them. So if a manager wanted to go up a level they either got another project or hired more people for their existing projects. Some of the new people that they were hiring in 1999 were only there to boost numbers because they had trouble turning on the computer.

  • by DontBlameCanada (1325547) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:46AM (#45070019)
    Unless you're in senior management, you have absolutely no control over your future. I can do the best job, get top ratings for performance, but if I'm unlucky and am working on the wrong projects... poof no job. Layoffs are done by cutting whole programs, without even attempting to retain the best talent. We're chattel, nameless drones who are viewed as necessary evils. Worse, I may be potentially viewed as substandard by future employers because the product I was working on wasn't viable, as though I had any opportunity to influence it's direction.
    I truly enjoy writing software, but I would never recommend this career to my children or grandchildren. Way too much volatility coupled with abusive employers...
    • The only long-term "stability" I've seen lately isn't even really stability -- it's contract work. I'm still an FTE simply because I have a family and don't want a divorce because I'm travelling around the country 300 days a year. But, I have many people I've worked with who have quite the lifestyle simply because they make multiples of a typical full time salary by stitching contract jobs together. It's amazing to me that a company doesn't hire permanent staff because it's "so expensive' and then turns aro

      • by ebh (116526)

        I've spent about half my 30-year career as an employee and half as a contractor (which I am now). When you count benefits and everything else, the difference in net cost to the client isn't as much as you'd think. The advantage to the client is disposability. While it may look like companies fire their employees as easily as they throw out their cafeteria trash, there's more overhead involved in getting rid of an employee (even without tenure, collective bargaining,etc.) and WAY more when hiring an emplo

    • Of course. Those pesky employees negatively impact profit margins. Without them the shareholders can extract maximum value from their investment.

    • It's not just the tech industry it's every industry now. The stock market demands an easy solution to slowing revenue growth and all too often the "easy" solution is to chop some staff because everyone only looks at the short term. Even the government is doing this in order to reduce our taxes in order to try and get re-elected. We are going to get into trouble with all of this short term thinking.

  • (Alcatel-)Lucent involved in a new massive layoff? It's another 90s revival. The scars never quite healed from starting my career there in the 90s.
    • (Alcatel-)Lucent involved in a new massive layoff? It's another 90s revival. The scars never quite healed from starting my career there in the 90s.

      I still work there. Amazing that through what seems layoffs continuously since 2001 that we are still around. I guess the cash infusion from merging with Alcatel helped push us along for a few more years. Though from what I know, due to unions and such in the EU, they are overstaffed there but it is very difficult to layoff.

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Based on what I'm reading on Wikipedia, they have over 70,000 employees. I imagine they are gaining and losing employees all the time. The only time you hear about it in the news is when they lay off 10,000 employees, but you don't hear about it when some random division is doing well and hires 50-100 people. It may even be that big layoffs is the only way to get rid of people. Over time, you hire a few people here, a few people there, and numbers go up. But nobody really has a reason to get rid of eve
  • I see the marketroid who typed up the press release accidentally put a 'f' in there.
  • by jlowery (47102) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @10:01AM (#45070237)

    'Shaft Plan' was a little too insensitive.

  • Laid off employee shows up on Wheel of Fortune. "Thanks, Jack, I'd like to sell an 'R'..."

  • SHIT PLAN.

    Oooooh. Someone else said it, but I don't have any followup, just wanted to do that one bit and this bit after it.

  • You say Shit Can... I say Shift Plan!
  • it is misspelled its shit plan
  • I worked for ATT when Bell Labs was spun off as Lucent by Fiorina (worse CEO that an American company can have). Lucent was loaded with bright ppl and great technology. If Google can buy the patents, it will make sense for them to buy Lucent.
  • Acatel-Lucent did mortgage its patents to Goldman-Sachs [fiercewireless.com]. One need a long fork when having diner with the devil, and I am not sure their is long enough.

The use of anthropomorphic terminology when dealing with computing systems is a symptom of professional immaturity. -- Edsger Dijkstra

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