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Published by:
ESMT European School of Management and Technology (2014)
19 May 2014
14 pages
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The case deals with a dramatic series of suicides at France Telecom between 2008 and 2009. Over a period of 18 months preceding the date of the opening lines of the case, 23 France Telecom employees took their lives. Many of the deceased had left notes blaming work-related stress or management decisions as the reasons for their extreme actions. The French government found it necessary to intervene and demand France Telecom's management to indicate to the workforce and society that they were taking the situation seriously. The case briefly describes the history of France Telecom, the change initiatives following the deregulation of the European telecommunications industry, and the development of the attention of the French nation and international public toward the company in the aftermath of the suicides and suicide attempts. The case closes citing the response of the government, the company, the unions, psychologists, and stock analysts after a crisis meeting between French Labor Minister Xavier Darcos and France Telecom’s PDG (Chairman of the Board and CEO) Didier Lombard in September 2009.


Responsible leadership; Change management; Corporate responsibility; Business ethics; Adaptive leadership; Corporate communications; Corporate culture
EUR45 billion revenues
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