Proximus prepares for future competition

The chief executive officer of Proximus, Dominique Leroy, is taking up her responsibilities to position her company in the face of future competition, the high-tech industry federation, Agoria, commented following the announcement by Proximus of a plan including 1,900 layoffs and 1,250 recruitments.

“It’s a normal reaction by a CEO preparing her company for future difficulties,” Agoria Director Marc Lambotte told the Belga news agency. He pointed to the competition from elsewhere in Europe that Proximus faces and the situation on the domestic market, where a fourth operator has been announced in the telecoms sector.

“If a price cutter comes on the market, that will have an undeniable effect on the strategy of the other actors,” Lambotte said. Moreover, the current operators are investing enormously to roll out the 5G network, he recalled.

According to Agoria, the telecoms sector employs 21,000 persons in Belgium. “The competitive environment is the same for everyone,” stressed Lambotte, who feels the measures Proximus has decided to take with regard to labour could well be emulated by the other operators.

After the Proximus board of directors approved a three-year plan on Tuesday afternoon, CEO Leroy met Employment Minister Kris Peeters on Wednesday morning. She explained that the restructuring plan envisaged by her company involved laying off 1,900 workers and taking on 1,250, but that the figures were not definitive.

Unions representing Proximus workers have been called to an extraordinary paritary commission meeting for Thursday morning at which they are to be informed of the three-year restructuring plan aimed at “accelerating the transformation” of the company.

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