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Ericsson – operator of Sprint network – cuts 130 jobs in KC area

The Kansas City Star

Ericsson Inc., the company that operates the Sprint wireless network, eliminated 130 Kansas City area jobs this week as part of a companywide 10 percent employment cut.

The employees let go across Ericsson’s North America operations will receive severance, though the cuts were based on an annual performance evaluation the company does, said Carolyn Curtis, director of communications.

The evaluations lead to job loss for the employees ranked in the bottom 10 percent.

“It’s painful, but it’s an exercise we go through … to ensure we have a high performance culture,” Curtis said.

Curtis said the job cuts would not affect Ericsson’s ability to run the wireless networks that Sprint Nextel Corp. relies on for its core service. Sprint’s faster 4G services runs on a network built and managed by Clearwire Corp.

She declined to say whether Ericsson would replace any of the employees.

Ericsson’s job cuts across North America hit 10 percent of its 14,000 workforce, Curtis said.

Sprint had transferred daily operations of its network to Ericsson, along with 6,000 employees and up to $5 billion, in 2009. About 2,000 of the employees were in the Kansas City area.

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