Orange says more about its new strategy

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At the helm of Orange since April 4, 2022, Christel Heydemann is already preparing a complete overhaul of the company’s strategy. The successor to Stéphane Richard will reveal the details of this new plan in February 2023, but some leads are already tending to be confirmed.

With the help of consulting firms Bain & Compagny and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the new CEO is preparing to refocus the group on its core business, telecoms. Its video-on-demand service OCS and Orange Bank, a symbol of the group’s scattering, will be abandoned.

Bye bye OCS

According to Le Monde, Orange is preparing to sell OCS, its streaming platform competing with Netflix and Orange Studio. Canal+, already a 34% shareholder, has decided to take over the platform: “discussions between the two parties have accelerated in recent weeks” confirms someone close to the file to Le Monde.

Canal+ and Orange must agree on the sum that Orange will have to pay to Canal+ so that it agrees to take over its subsidiary. The fate of the 80 employees of OCS and Orange Studio must also be discussed.

Launched in 2008 at the instigation of Xavier Couture (former director of TF1 and Canal+), the SVOD platform was distinguished by the integration of the HBO catalog (Game of Thrones, House of Dragons) exclusively in France. Insufficient to convince the public: OCS has 3 million subscribers and has accumulated 400 million euros in losses.

To complete the SVOD service, the contract with HBO, which should launch its own platform, will end at the end of 2022.

Orange Bank and Saint Lazard

Another important aspect for Orange: banking. Despite 1.4 million customers, Orange Bank has accumulated 880 million euros in losses since its creation in November 2017. By way of comparison, Boursorama has 3.3 million customers and expects to reach 4.5 million in 2021. If Christel Heydemann does not want to part with this burden, it is because she believes that this asset will be a key element in the group’s future. Also, Orange Bank has established itself as the 3rd mobile bank.

For this, however, Orange must find an expert partner in the field. After the missed meeting with BNP Paribas in 2021, Orange Bank has therefore entrusted the difficult task of finding a new partner to Banque Lazard.

Telecoms and cybersecurity

If the Orange Bank and OCS entities tend to spill ink, there is nothing to panic confide relatives of the group, most of the revenue generated being related to telecoms and business activities.

The new strategy will be based on these two levers. The operator will first review its store network to reduce operating costs. The total number of points of sale will increase from 528 to 600 in 2026, but at the same time the number of shops dependent on its subsidiary Générale de telephone (less advantageous salary conditions) will double.

For the Orange Business part, the OBS subsidiary will have to offer something other than business connectivity solutions. Cybersecurity being “one of the growth levers for Orange”Christel Heydemann wants OBS to get started. “We made the decision to invest hundreds of millions of euros in cyber for many years” she insisted during a visit to the Lyon offices of Orange Cyberdefense.

To carry out this major project, the new CEO announces that Orange “will recruit 600 people in France in 2023” to support the 2,700 employees of Orange Cyberdefense.

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