France Télécom is the main telecommunication company in France. It currently employs about 221,657 people and has nearly 90 million customers worldwide, including the French départements d'outre mer. For the last twelve months ending Sep 2004 it had revenue of 60.11 billion dollars.
The current CEO of France Télécom Thierry Breton (49) was appointed back in 2002 after leaving his previouse company Thomson (formerly THOMSON Multimedia SA, owner of the legendary American brand RCA) where he served as the CEO. According to French newspapers, he is considered to serve as the next minister of finance and industries.
Up to 1988, France Télécom was known as the Direction Générale des Télécommunications, a division of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. It became autonomous in 1991. It ceased to be a state monopoly on January 1, 1998.
In 2004 France Telecom is likely to have to pay back 1 billion euros in alleged unlawful subsidies (in breach of state aid rules) it received from the French government, following an 18-month investigation by Mario Monti, the EC Competition Commissioner. It is understood that both France Telecom and the French government are appealing this decision.
France Télécom operates through several divisions, like Wanadoo (first ISP in France, second in Europe), Orange (first mobile phone company in France) and Equant.
- France Telecom (http://www.francetelecom.com)