Sprint cutting jobs this month to trim costs

AP News
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Posted: Oct 03, 2014 6:47 PM

Sprint Corp., the nation's third-biggest cellphone carrier, said it is cutting an unspecified number of jobs this month to reduce costs as it tries to better compete with AT&T and Verizon, and hinted that more layoffs are possible.

"We're still working through the details so exact numbers and locations are not available at this time," Sprint spokeswoman Roni Singleton said in an email on Friday. The October job cuts will include managers as well as other employees. She said the wireless carrier has previously said job losses would come in its IT, portfolio management, network and technology divisions. Sprint had 38,000 employees at the end of December.

Sprint said Friday in a regulatory filing that it will book a $160 million charge in its fiscal second quarter to cover this round of layoffs, which will largely be completed this month. It may take more charges for future job cuts.

Sprint's new owner, Softbank Corp. of Japan, replaced longtime CEO Dan Hesse with Bolivian billionaire and entrepreneur Marcelo Claure in August after Sprint dropped its bid for rival wireless carrier T-Mobile US. Claure had been CEO of Brightstar Corp., which is part of Softbank. Softbank bought 70 percent of Sprint last year.

Masayoshi Son, Sprint's chairman and the CEO of Softbank, has said that Sprint must compete more aggressively with its larger rivals. That could include price cuts to entice customers. The Overland Park, Kansas-based company has posted billions in losses for the past several fiscal years as subscribers canceled contracts. It shut down its struggling Nextel service last year.

Shares closed flat at $6.25 on Friday. The stock has dropped 42 percent in 2014.