Technology

Sprint to lay off 500 from Overland Park headquarters in cost-cutting push

Sprint employees face the first round of layoffs at the company's Overland Park headquarters campus since April 2016.
Sprint employees face the first round of layoffs at the company's Overland Park headquarters campus since April 2016.

Sprint is cutting 500 jobs at its Overland Park headquarters campus as part of its ongoing effort to cut costs.

Spokesman Dave Tovar said the cuts could include any of the 6,000 headquarters employees. This is the company's first reported round of job cuts since 113 jobs were eliminated in April 2016.

Although some employees have been notified of their job loss, not all of the positions being eliminated have been identified. Tovar said leaders of some teams are still making those decisions.

Tovar said Sprint would be expanding its retail and customer care employee totals this year. Sprint will be opening about 600 stores, and its pre-paid Boost Mobile brand will be opening about 850.

"Thousands of jobs will be created as a result of that store growth," Tovar said.

The cuts come amid a number of changes since Sprint's parent company, SoftBank Group Corp. in Tokyo, broke off efforts to merge Sprint with rival T-Mobile US. The companies had expected a merger to generate $30 billion or more in costs savings between the two companies.

Since then, CEO Marcelo Claure has said the company would invest to boost its wireless network after having put off some investments while the talks with T-Mobile were underway. Tovar said that network improvement also would add to employment at Sprint.

Sprint has been on a cost-cutting campaign since Claure took the helm in August 2014. Its efforts have focused on all facets of the company's spending, from personnel to interest payments on its debt. In the last nine months of 2017, the company said it had found $1 billion in cost savings, including savings in operating its wireless network.

Another change has been a thinning of the executive group that reports to Claure. In a report to employees in November, Claure described the management changes as taking "leadership closer to the customer," as his executive team was moving to new offices on the campus.

Once easily the largest private employer in the Kansas City area at more than 22,000 local employees, Sprint remains among the larger employers with headquarters here.

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