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Orange slashes jobs in corporate positions

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Orange slashes jobs in corporate positions
10:37 CET+01:00
Orange Communications, Switzerland's third-biggest mobile telecom operator, announced on Friday that it expects to cut 140 jobs this year — more than a tenth of its workforce — as it “rebalances resources”.

The company said it will cut around 70 jobs affecting “corporate functions” in the coming weeks before evaluating further measures in a second phase of redundancies later in the year.

“Our objective is to simplify our organization to enable us to focus more on our customers,” Johan Andsjö, CEO of Orange, said in a statement.

The company is launching a “fully commercial 4G network”  and plans to open 18 new Orange Centers to its existing 200 retail outlets, Andsjö said.

At the same time it plans to invest 700 million francs in the modernization of its telecom network, Andsjö said.

The company earlier said it plans to launch 4G, the fourth generation of mobile phone communications standards, in 10 Swiss cities on June 1st.

“As part of a series of measures, we want to rebalance our resources from corporate functions to more customer-centric positions,” Andsjö said.

This is expected to result in a reduction of up to 140 jobs, mostly in corporate positions, Andsjö said.  

Orange Communications, originally owned by France Telecom, entered the Swiss market in 1999 and was sold to London buyout firm Apax Partners for 1.6 billion euros in early 2012.

The deal emerged after an attempt to merge Orange Switzerland with Sunrise, the number two mobile operator, was rejected by Swiss competition authorities.

Orange Communications is now 100 percent owned by Matterhorn Mobile, a company under the indirect majority ownership of funds advised by Apax.

With a customer base of 1.65 million people, the company has 20.5 percent of Switzerland’s mobile market, just behind Sunrise (20.8 percent) and dominant player Swisscom (58.7 percent).

Its pool of employees has shrunk from around 1,700 in 2002 to fewer than 1,200 as of 2012.

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