France Telecom Says Bon Voyage

IAN HANNING/REA

Departing France Telecom chief Michel Bon

Michel Bon turned France Telecom (FT) from a national fixed-line phone company into a European powerhouse. But the acquisition binge that brought the company Orange, a 28.5% stake in MobilCom and a disastrously expensive 3G presence also left it with a staggering debt of nearly ?70 billion, and as Bon resigned last week that looked like his lasting legacy. FT now seems to be headed for a ?10-15 billion rights issue to plug next year's funding gap. But that's a flimsy plaster for a company that hemorrhaged ?8.3 billion last year and ?12.2 billion in this year's first half. Already, in...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!