Also in today's EMEA roundup: AlcaLu job cuts hit hard; Telecom Italia and the J-word; Rostelecom re-focuses.
Internal auditors at Belgacom SA (Euronext: BELG) have cleared Michael Moll, the company's interim president and director, of conflict-of-interest allegations relating to his consultancy work for Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , for which he was paid €954,000 (US$1.3 million) over the course of nearly three years, according to this Marianne blog (in French). In November 2009 Huawei landed a contract with Belgacom for an upgrade of its 3G infrastructure, winning out against the incumbent supplier, Nokia Siemens Networks (as was), Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC). Moll was on the Belgacom board at the time of the tender process. In early 2010, claims Marianne, Moll started receiving monthly consultancy payments from Huawei, which Moll said was for advice on doing business in Africa and unrelated to Belgacom or the European market. The payments continued until late 2012.
The EMEA region is to bear the brunt of the 10,000 worldwide job losses announced at Alcatel-Lucent today. In its official statement, AlcaLu said that 4,100 staff in the region would lose their jobs, including 900 support, sales, and administrative staff in France. On a more positive note, the vendor plans to recruit several hundred staff in France as it focuses its European R&D operations in Villarceaux, south of Paris. (See Alcatel-Lucent to Cut 10,000 Jobs.)
Telecom Italia (TIM) 's stock rating is getting dangerously close to "junk" status, according to agency Standard & Poor’s , reports Reuters. The debt-laden operator has had a turbulent time in recent weeks, with the departure of former executive chairman Franco Bernabe and the installation of Marco Patuano as its new CEO. (See Euronews: Telecom Italia Boss on the Brink.)
Russia's Rostelecom plans to put a lid on capex over the next four years and concentrate on Internet services, reports Reuters, citing Russian business daily Vedomosti. In 2012 Rostelecom invested 28.4 percent of its revenues; in 2014 it hopes to cut this figure to 20 percent and to 10 percent the year after.
Orange Business Services has won a five-year contract extension with AkzoNobel, the paints giant that employs around 50,000 people worldwide. The multi-million-euro deal covers a scalable private network for AkzoNobel's 1,200 sites, managed LAN services, application acceleration services, and telepresence.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading