Citrus has nothing to do with Orange. Not with Orange S.A. anyway.

This telecom giant is a multinational corporation out of France that services millions of people every year, more than two hundred million people. It’s the tenth largest mobile network company in the world. In Europe, it’s the fourth largest after Telefonica, VEON, and Vodafone. It employs nearly one hundred thousand people in France, with almost sixty thousand individuals employed elsewhere. 

Colorful Branding

Orange is a brand for mobile, internet, IPTV, and landline phone services. That branding began in 2006, but the company goes back to 1994 when provider Hutchison Whampoa bought a controlling stake in Microtel Communications. The rebranding as Orange was an important part of growing and expanding the brand.

In 1999, Mannesmann bought out the company. A year later it was bought out again, this time by France Telecom.  

Old School Phones

Believe it or not, telecommunication in France goes all the way back to 1792. 

Claude Chappe created an optical telegraphy network just after the French Revolution. After the invention of the telephone and the electrical telegraph a hundred years later, the French State began regulating the telecom industry. That regulation traces its way all the way down to Orange today. France Telecom, the mother of Orange, was under the control of that very old school state organization in France. To this day, the French government owns more than   of the company. 

Tragic Controversy

The most highly publicized controversy in the modern history of Orange was a rash of staff suicides between 2008 and 2011. There were more than sixty suicides of France Telecom employees. Some of the employees left behind notes that blamed the company and the misery associated with their jobs. Deputy CEO Louis-Pierre Wenes resigned from the company under the pressure of the scandal. Heavy media coverage pressured the government of France for an investigation. They found that the company had a series of serious issues that led to employee unhappiness. 

Beyond this issue, there have been many others faced by Orange. Widespread calls for boycotts have plagued the company. Internationally, the company has been called out for anti-Semetic practices to the point that it parted ways with Israeli telecommunications giant Partner Communications Company in 2016 after years of heated debate and before the end of the contract.

Issues of corruption have plagued Orange both inside and outside of France.

Sponsors and Advertising

The company sponsors several high level sports teams as part of its advertising campaign globally. These include the Formula One team Arrows, the national basketball teams of Senegal and the Central African Republic, and the French soccer team Olympique de Marseille. 

The company also does philanthropic work through its Orange Foundation. It supports projects related to autism, health, culture, and music, particularly in developing countries. Every year it’s involved in three hundred to four hundred projects. The foundation works with non-governmental organizations as well as local governments for long term projects.

Through powerful branding, heavy print and media advertising, and a huge network all over the world, Orange has become one of the top telecom companies in the world.  With more than forty billion euro in yearly revenue and almost one hundred and fifty thousand employees, it’s a company that isn’t going anywhere.

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