Telecom Timeout

Jan 26 2009   6:33PM GMT

Sprint employees: Can you hear your jobs drop?

Kate Gerwig Kate Gerwig Profile: Kate Gerwig

Sprint came out with it on Monday, not that anyone was surprised: 8,000 jobs on the chopping block; suspended 401k matching; salary freezes for the second year in a row. The cuts are supposed to be less drastic in locations where employees deal with actual customers, Sprint said, which is awfully nice for actual remaining customers who actually want to talk to someone at Sprint.

There have been cuts for the last couple of years at struggling Sprint, as chronicled in a timeline appearing in Sprint’s hometown Kansas City Business Journal

Besides the economy, another reason for the layoffs is that CEO Dan Hesse wants to make his struggling company more competitive with AT&T and Verizon. As soon as The Wall Street Journal’s Marketwatch put it out there that Sprint is the latest telecom service provider to announce job cuts –users jumped on the comment bandwagon immediately. Many took the opportunity to bash the company, saying that Sprint was in trouble even before it merged with Nextel.

On the subject of Nextel, CIMI Corp. President Tom Nolle says Sprint should have benefited from a national trend to shift to mobile devices, but it got carried away with the Nextel merger instead and didn’t move quickly enough. “Sprint is working through its WiMax strategy, but again, it may be late,” Nolle told us, and the economic downturn may hurt the provider by slowing both adoption and its ability to sustain a fast roll-out of service. Find more of Nolle’s thoughts on Uncommon Wisdom, our sister blog.

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