RealTime IT News

Sprint Consolidates; Cuts 2,100 Jobs

Sprint Corp. is trimming about 2,100 jobs in a company-wide restructuring move that affects the global markets, local telephone and corporate divisions.

Sprint, badly hurt by the massive downturn in the telecommunications sector, said cuts account for about 3 percent of its workforce and would help eliminate overlaps and redundancies and a maintain competitive cost structure. The company expects to absorb costs related to employee severance in the range of $85 million. Annual cost savings is estimated at $145 million.

"Before today, each of Sprint's primary divisions -- Local Telephone, Global Markets and PCS -- had unique network, IT and customer credit, billing and collection organizations. Going forward, the network operations for Global Markets and PCS will be combined, along with the planning and data operations in the Local Division, into a single organization," the Kansas City-based Sprint said.

The IT groups in each division will also be consolidated into a single organization, along with the billing and accounts receivables functions in each division, the company said.

The new entity would take care of providing Sprint's network infrastructure, integrated IT platforms and the billing and accounts receivables fir local, long-distance, Internet and wireless network capabilities, the company said.

The latest round of cuts was described by Sprint CEO William Esrey as a "necessary step" in the face of an extended downturn in the sector. "Eliminating jobs is a difficult decision...The consolidations we are announcing today are a necessary step if we are to capitalize on our strength, which is the ability to offer a complete portfolio of wireline and wireless voice, data and Internet services under a single brand at a competitive price," Esrey said.

It is the second time in as many months Sprint has contracted. Last month, the company trimmed payroll in its PCS division to reduce costs. Sprint said it would place employees whose jobs have been eliminated in other positions within the company and will work with outside employers in local areas to identify suitable employment options.