T-Mobile confirms job cuts at HQ ahead of MetroPCS merger

T-Mobile USA confirmed job cuts at its headquarters in Bellevue, Wash., after weeks of refusing to acknowledge the cuts, but the carrier did not specify how many jobs have been culled.

According to the Seattle Times, which first reported on the cuts last month, T-Mobile axed between 200 and 300 employees in its operations group, ranging from administrative assistants to senior vice presidents. The report, without citing sources, said those cutes were in addition to the roughly 100 people cut from the company's marketing department recently.

The cuts come just days ahead of an April 12 vote by MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS) shareholders on the proposed merger with T-Mobile, and shortly after T-Mobile formally unveiled its new no-contract pricing, LTE network and plans to launch the iPhone. 

T-Mobile and MetroPCS hope to achieve $6 billion to $7 billion in post-deal "synergies." T-Mobile plans to maintain MetroPCS' brand and retail locations while merging the two companies' networks and migrating MetroPCS' customers off of CDMA and onto LTE.

"As you know, T Mobile announced a series of moves Tuesday that are part of our new business strategy designed to address consumer frustration with the unnecessary cost and complexity of wireless," the company said in a statement. "As a result, we are making some operational changes to better align our business with our new strategy and position T-Mobile for growth. This affects a small number of employees relative to the overall size of the business, and while we don't take these actions lightly, these adjustments to how we invest in the business will enable us to better focus our resources as we implement this strategy. Customer service at every level remains our highest priority."

Last year as part of reorganization T-Mobile cut a net 350 jobs. The carrier slashed 900 positions across the company but also pledged to add 550 additional jobs "to support the needs of the business and strategic opportunities." T-Mobile has also been busy expanding its B2B unit, which it said last year would lead to around 1,000 more jobs in the coming years. T-Mobile also announced a net loss of 1,900 jobs in March 2012 to consolidate the number of its call centers around the country from 24 down to 17. Last year the company had about 4,800 employees at its Bellevue headquarters and 36,000 nationally.

For more:
- see this Seattle Times article
- see this Engadget article

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