Virgin Mobile employees did not want to believe in “bastards of bosses”
The summer break will not have helped swallow the pill. After the anger and the letter sent to Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, the former CEO of Virgin Mobile, the “collective of employees” is still standing up against the 9.7 million euros paid to 9 directors of Virgin Mobile, as a transfer premium after the sale at SFR-Numéricable (Altice). According to the documents that the employees obtained, seven members of the Executive Committee and two executives at Virgin have already obtained 3.3 million euros and soon more than six million, when only about 252,000 euros had been planned for the 140 employees of the company, each receiving a bonus of 1,800 euros.
During the holidays, the group, which is not only “made up of trade unions”, was given an objection regarding their request to review the allocation of the bonus. “It’s the law of the working world. It’s a thing of the past, we have to move forward ”, would have objected to them Eric Denoyer, the managing director, and the human resources department of the SFR group who did not respond to our request.
In itself, nothing illegal about the operation. But employees do not live with the difference between the values of creativity, innovation and proximity advocated by Virgin Mobile, and the end of the dream as they have been concocted. By having at board Richard Branson shareholders since 2004, the Oméa Telecom group of Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux had endorsed the same entrepreneurial promises of the British billionaire.
While Numéricâble-SFR generated more than 5.5 billion euros in turnover in the first half of 2015, and SFR and Virgin Mobile posted a respective contribution of 2.9 billion and 169 million euros to the B2C turnover, the posture goes badly with the employees.
The silence of Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux
Faced with the silence of Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux who did not respond to the missive, the employees reflected on whether or not they were going to disrupt the Medef Summer University, where the former boss plays the role of vice-president. Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, also author of Bosses bastards! – advocating a new balance of power, would have “been recently in the culture of politics, with the Medef”, accuses Jean-Michel Bihoues, CFDT union representative at Virgin Mobile. He said he was “disappointed” with the attitude of Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux. According to employees, the former boss would have received 240,000 euros from the end of the contract, due to a non-competition clause. “It’s abnormal. He could have left her; this clause logically only concerns the case of a resale at a lower price. He has already received 25 million euros on the resale of his shares, ”points out the union representative.
As a result, dialogue between employees and the managers of Numéricable-SFR is today “non-existent”. More worrying, the controversy provoked by the collective which considers that its only recourse is “the buzz”, would begin to fulfill its mission. “We still feel a little betrayed. Virgin was a different DNA from large groups, it was anti-conformism, a slightly offbeat image that people liked a lot. This bonus business has tainted her. Even the customers give us thoughts on this affair ”, tells us Frenchweb a seller in an independent shop.
An image altered by the redemption
SFR still has a base of 23 million subscribers but would have lost more than a million between 2014 and 2015. The acquisition of 1 million Virgin Mobile subscribers – also on the decline, came to offset the churn subscribers (the proportion of customers lost or who changed operator).
Fusion is also difficult, even in the store. “Customers are more wary, they have the impression that Virgin is weakened and will eventually disappear. This is even the discourse held by certain SFR stores to dissuade customers from subscribing to Virgin ”, explains to Frenchweb seller. And to explain: “I believe that Virgin Mobile has sold its soul a little with this takeover, and it can cost it dearly.”
The lack of transparency on the strategy is felt even in the neighborhood store. “Normally after the takeover, it was expected that we would benefit from fiber offers in order to boost our sales. In the end, it did not happen. False promise or change of strategy? ”Asks the salesperson.
For their part, the employees are resigned. “Mr. Denoyer is due to come in September, organize staff meetings. However, we still do not have the objectives for our collective and individual bonuses for 2015. We will be integrated little by little. We will disappear within a year, ”warns the CFDT representative. They also want to go see Minister Emmanuel Macron to demand justice.