Sprint Nextel said it may cut between 2,000 and 2,500 jobs in an effort to save $350 million annually. The job cuts represent as much as 6 percent of the 42,000 employees Sprint had at the end of the third quarter. The news is the latest blow to the struggling carrier, which despite improvements in customer service and growth in its prepaid business, has continued to lose postpaid subscribers.
The company said that the job cuts will be company-wide and many will be made before year-end. Sprint said it expects to take a charge of between $60 million and $80 million in the fourth quarter because of the severance and other costs of the job cuts. The news also comes the same day that reports said Sprint was planning on making a new, $1 billion investment in Clearwire, the mobile WiMAX operator in which it owns a majority stake.
Sprint said that the changes would not impact customer service, and noted that because of customer service improvements during the past seven quarters, it has been able to close 27 call centers. This is the most significant round of job cuts at Sprint since January, when the company slashed 8,000 jobs. Sprint is also shifting 6,000 employees to Ericsson, which has taken over day-to-day operations of its network.
Sprint had a net loss of $478 million in the third quarter, up from $326 million in the year-ago quarter.
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