23,000 Jobs to go at France Telecom

France Telecom is undergoing a job shedding pain that BT took in its stride some years ago as around 23,000 jobs are eliminated as no longer being relevant. The workers are expected to leave voluntarily – while 6,000 new wave jobs will be created and 10,000 other positions reshuffled as the company positions itself to cope with the VoIP revolution.

The plan, which will see the total workforce decline by 8 percent over the next 36 months, was disclosed as France Telecom reported annual results.

France Telecom CEO Didier Lombard predicted that profits in the coming year will rapidly fall as consumers switch to VoIP – overall sales are expected to be up 7 percent, but 5 percent of that due to the purchase of Spanish mobile co Amena. He predicted that about 40 percent of the French fixed-line retail market will move to VoIP calls this year, from about 15 percent in 2005 and “almost zero’ in 2004.