back to article Ex-France Telecom CEO probed over staff suicide spate

Former France Telecom chief executive Didier Lombard is under investigation following a spate of staff suicides at his firm in 2008 and 2009. Lombard was in charge of the company when more than 30 employees took their lives and others attempted to kill themselves amid mass redundancies at the telco. A court in Paris, which is …


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  1. Anonymous Coward 101
    Big Brother

    So this is the man responsible...

    ...for causing complex, multifaceted social problems! Burn him at the stake!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So this is the man responsible...

      You clearly have not worked in a T company where T is part of a 2-3 letter abbreviation.

      The only thing that can compare to a lot (not all) of these is the Soviet Union during Brezhnev's time especially if you happen to be non-unionized non-field staff.

      I suggest you work in one for a few years as non-unionized white collar non-management staff to experience first hand. Nuff said. Me coat.

      Anonymous on purpose (I used to work for one so I know first hand what do you get on the receiving side).

  2. oddie

    before deciding its ok if the level of suicides match that of the country as a whole...

    check to see if the rate of suicides prior to these actions matched it as well.. they may or may not.

    Suicide is not something that occours uniformily across a population.. there will be risk groups that stand out.. especially young males.. there are also other factors in play beside sex and age.

    if the suicide rate at the company was way below average before the redundancies and then jumped up to 'average' level during, then there was still an issue to at least look into.

    lies, damn lies and then statistics.

  3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    "imposed on people who used to be civil servants"

    Any questions?

    I will be at the pub.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "imposed on people who used to be civil servants"

      " many of whom had "protected employment" status, presumably making it difficult to fire the"

      You have no idea! "civil servant" is a poor translation of "fonctionnaire", which is a status that most of France aspires to. It gives you a job for life; about the only way to get rid of a fonctionnaire is to catch him or (rarely) her in some major corporate malfeasance. Even laying a fonctionnaire off is well-nigh impossible, short of having the whole company go bankrupt (and even then they may still get years of pay from the taxpayer).

      The accusations against FT are that, unable to fire these people, they tried to make their daily work so pointless that they would quit voluntarily. Some couldn't cope with getting paid to do nothing in some French equivalent to Peoria (or Basingstoke).

      The solution, which is entirely unthinkable to a French government, is to reform the employment laws, not to persecute the poor sods who have to work within them.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Easy job for life. Unless your government run employer gets privatized.

    Then you might actually get asked to do some work, rather than stand outside smoking and drinking coffee all day! [shock, horror!]

    1. Potemkine Silver badge

      Re: Fonctionnaires...

      BS and rightist propaganda - I know many people in the private sector who don't make half the job of a civil servant. It isn't a matter of public or private, it's a matter of size (as often) - The bigger the organization, the bigger the number of slackers in it.

  5. Johan Bastiaansen


    Isn't harassment the basis of our capitalist system?

  6. endofthesky

    I do work in telecoms

    So they are trying to say that because they had protected work status they put up with pressure and unrealistic targets, so rather than leave and take it to a tribuneral they decided to kill them selves?

    Can anyone say whether the notes or indications say "work was responsible" as I havent seen anything about this from the people that took their own life.

    I know I wouldnt take my own life, i'd do what I have done in the past, leave, find another job and move on! I personally can't see how this is the fault of the CEO for taking correct steps to protect the company from total collapse.

    I got made redundant and understand what it was they did and why. I support the decision they made to make me redundant and some people just dont understand how hard it is for companies to survive in this tough climate and anyone assuming that companies can carry anyone for any reason are very much mistaken.

    Redundancy is part of life and so is moving on to other jobs... suicide is not the answer and no one is responsible for someone taking their own life. This is the sole responsibility of the person in question, anything else is just murder pure and simple!

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