Sprint Tightens Belt 8000 Notches

January 26th, 2009 by · 4 Comments

In what has to be one of the more predictable job actions of this new year, Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S, news, filings) has announced the elimination of some 8000 positions as part of an effort to save some $1.2B in annual labor costs.  While this includes 850 that were going under a voluntary separation plan already, it is painfully obvious that most of the rest will be of the involuntary nature.  For all those out there who stand to be affected by this, good luck and I hope you land on your feet ASAP.

Sprint took the opportunity to note that complaints are down and that they remain committed to improving the 'customer experience,' which is a fancy way of saying that they think they are stopping the bleeding but don't actually have any numbers to show us yet - nor will they for another three and a half weeks when they finally release earnings.  Whether or not they have turned the corner will be measured on a scale of how bad things look, because I don't think anyone on the planet expects great numbers then.

But as I said, this was highly predictable.  Sprint either turns the ship around now or they never do, and CEO Dan Hess will surely pull every lever and push every button he has to make it happen. The big red 'layoffs' button was never going to be immune.  Can they really save $1.2B in payroll annually while improving the customer experience?

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Categories: Internet Backbones · Wireless

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4 Comments So Far


  • Sprint Employee says:

    I attended a meeting last week where our VP talked about Sprint repairing its brand image also. The VP asked if we got that knot in our gut when strangers asked where we worked because we would have to hear negative comments about the brand. When will they realize part of the brand image problems is their constant layoff situation (2K here, 4K there, 8K here). That’s what I always here when I say, “I work at Sprint”… it’s “Oh I’m sorry… how have you managed to not get laid off”. It starts off as a joke about the grim reaper coming & ducking your head every quarter that the blade doesn’t fall your way. But frankly… its just not funny anymore.

  • The_Highwayman says:

    Rob,
    remind and keep me honest here…the nextel and S-wireless portion is merging into CLWR right?

    so if that is the case and I do know the S BOD is jumping to CLWR, then is this layoff impacting only the old Sprint wireline folks?

    If so and this is strictly a speculative WAG, then maybe that is why we are seeing TWTC making moves to protect their NOLs, etc….

    XO and TWTC would be a good fit, but could old Sprint wireline and TWTC be a better fit w/o having Ichan to deal with?

    I simply have not kept up with traditional S wireline to accurately speak to their network, especially sicne they spun off local and formed Embarq….

    what are your thoughts on that….XO and TWTC would seem pretty logical, but it makes you wonder if TWTC is setting it’s sights on the old S wireline isntead, if TWTC is even hunting at all…

    • Rob Powell says:

      No, the Nextel part stays with Sprint. Only Xohm and the spectrum went to CLWR. The layoffs affect both wireline and wireless, or so I understand it.

      Regarding Sprint wireline and TWTC, yes it might be a good fit. However, whether it is Icahn or not you’re going to need to find someone with deep pockets to fund the deal. And for now at least, it would be the other way around, Sprint wireline – even beaten down – is some 6 times larger than TWTC in terms of revenue.

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