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Sprint begins layoff process

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sprint Corp. on Friday signaled that job cuts were underway as the company tries to cut costs and improve operations amid heightened competition.

The workforce reduction of management and non-management positions will result in a $160 million expense for severance and other costs in the fiscal second quarter, the Overland Park-based company said Friday in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commision.

The job cuts started on Tuesday and will largely be completed by Oct. 31, the nation’s third-largest wireless company said in the filing.

The filing didn’t specify how many jobs will be lost, and whether any of the cuts will involve area employees.

However, Sprint said in a statement Friday that previously announced plans for staff cuts in its information technology, portfolio management, network and technology groups would be “largely completed” by the end of October.

The company’s statement said no other units within Sprint “have announced reductions at this time.” But the SEC filing noted that “additional material charges associated with future labor reductions may occur in future periods.”

Sprint’s new chief executive, Marcelo Claure, who took over in August, has told employees to expect cost cuts and a more vigorous competitive edge. He said Sprint needed to have the lowest cost of service to deliver the best value to customers.

Claure was appointed chief executive by Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son after the company scrapped a plan to combine with T-Mobile US Inc. Son runs Tokyo-based telecommunications giant SoftBank Corp., which owns more than 80 percent of Sprint.

“The decision to reduce our workforce is never an easy one,” Sprint’s statement said. “But this, in conjunction with other cost-cutting measures, is necessary to help Sprint lower our costs.”

Sprint has about 33,000 employees, down from 36,000 the company reported as of the end of March. The decline reflects previously announced plans to close less profitable stores and cut back on customer care centers.

To reach Steve Rosen, call 816-234-4879 or send email to srosen@kcstar.com.

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