France Telecom deputy CEO quits in suicide furor

France Telecom deputy CEO Louis-Pierre Wenes has resigned amid the controversy surrounding the employee suicide scandal.
 
Wenes tendered his resignation on Monday, France Telecom said without mentioning the controversy, and has been replaced by Stephane Richard, the head of international operations.
 
France Telecom has come under fire over the suicides of 24 workers in the past 18 months.
 
With some 100,000 employees, the suicide rate at the company is actually somewhat below the national average, according to the most recent figures from the World Health Organization.
 
But this is cold comfort for unions, which have blamed the suicides on job cuts and extensive employee relocation programs. The most recent employee to commit suicide left a note blaming the atmosphere at the company.
 
The opposition Socialist Party has also laid the blame at France Telecom's feet, calling on the company's executives to take responsibility and resign, the Wall Street Journal said
 
CEO Didier Lombard has not resigned, and has the support of French finance minister Christine Lagarde. He has vowed to stop the “spiral of death” by setting up a helpline, offering psychological counseling and suspending all staff transfers, the BBC said.

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