EarthLink ends 900 jobs, bails out of San Francisco

EarthLink eliminated 900 employees and closed offices in Orlando, Fla.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Harriburg, Pa.; and San Francisco. The ISP's new CEO Rolla Huff announced yesterday that EarthLink will refocus on its core business of supplying Internet access to consumers and businesses and will continue to study its role in the muni-WiFi business.

According to the San Francisco mayor's office, EarthLink has pulled out of the running for the long-delayed muni-WiFi project.

Amid a steep loss in the second quarter, EarthLink has been looking for ways to save money, and it has been widely speculated the WiFi business would take a big hit. With the announced corporate restructuring, the company expects to pay out $60 million to $70 million associated with the plan while generating $25 million to $35 million in savings through the end of the year. It anticipates a positive return on the restructuring costs within six months.

In a filing with the SEC, it revealed that "the position of Executive Vice President and President-Municipal Networks, held by Donald B. Berryman, is being eliminated, and Mr. Berryman's employment with the Company is terminating."
Is Berryman's departure a sign of a company-wide exit from the fledgling muni- WiFi market?

To read more about EarthLink's job cuts:
- check out this article from AP
- take a look at this report from RCR Wireless News
- check out this article from TelecomWeb

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