France Telecom's new five-year plan addresses growth, employee morale

With barely four months under his belt as France Telecom's (NYSE: FTE) new CEO, Stephane Richard has settled in and is advancing his five-year vision for the service provider.

Richard's "Conquests 2015" vision focuses on enhancing the service provider's next-gen broadband access network, increasing international presence, expanding its global customer base by 50 percent and, most importantly, restoring worker happiness.

One of the plan's most ambitious goals is focused on increasing its customer base to 300 million by 2015, a feat it says it will reach through making targeted acquisition in emerging markets such as Africa.

"The plan is much more than a response to the crisis that we have undergone during recent months, it's a response to 10 years of profound change tied to the opening up of the industry to competition, regulatory pressure and the digital revolution and the arrival of new players such as Google Inc (GOOG.O) and Apple Inc (AAPL.O)," Richard said in a news conference.

Apart from the $2.7 billion fiber network investment in its homeland France market, Richard said the rest of the financial details of his "Conquests 2015" would be revealed this fall. In the near-term, Richard did say that France Telecom would spend $1.1 billion on what he calls the "new social contract," an effort to foster employee morale following 30 suicides by company employees last year. A French prosecutor is currently conducting an ongoing investigation into whether the suicides were the result of "morale harassment."

For more:
- Reuters has this article
- TeleGeography also has this coverage

Related articles:
France Telecom's new CEO focuses on restoring worker happiness
France Telecom to reshuffle the management deck
France Telecom's heir apparent wants Lombard to leave
Survey reveals employee discord at France Telecom
France Telecom - Top Telecom Turkeys of 2009