Former France Telecom CEO, Didier Lombard, is to stand trial over accusations of workplace bullying which unions say resulted in 35 employee suicides between 2008 and 2009.
Mr Lombard presided over a tumultuous period in France Telecom’s history, during which the former French incumbent operator shed 20,000 of its 100,000 workforce.
Mr Lombard and France Telecom were placed under formal investigation in 2012 and will now face an official trial in the French courts. Both Mr Lombard and France Telecom strenuously deny that their actions led to the employee deaths in any way.
Mr Lombard will stand trial along with six other executives from France Telecom.
Mr Lombard has not commented on the decision to pursue a full trial against him but in a 2012 interview with French newspaper Le Monde he said that he “forcefully rejected” the accusations against him.
“Like my predecessor and my successor, I am conscious that the disruption the company has experienced could provoke shock and unease,” he said.
“But I forcefully reject that plans that were essential to the survival of the company could have been the cause of the human tragedies cited by the complainants,” he added. – Total Telecom