Sprint starting mass layoffs to 'improve operational efficiencies' in mobile network

Because nothing makes staff work better than threats

Workers at third-ranked US mobile network Sprint will have a nervous month as large numbers of them are going to be getting the call to "Come into the HR office please, and bring your key card."

On Friday, the company made a regulatory filing in which it said it would be setting aside $160m to cover the cost of the layoffs, which new CEO Marcelo Claure promised in August when he said that, while employees had "tremendous value," the firm would have to cut costs somehow.

"On September 30, 2014, Sprint Corporation (the "Company") began implementation of a workforce reduction plan to reduce costs and help become more competitive in the marketplace," the filing reads.

"The plan is expected to include steps to, among other things, improve operational efficiencies and reduce costs, as a result of which the Company expects to incur material charges under generally accepted accounting principles. This planned reduction is expected to be largely completed by October 31, 2014 and will include certain management and non-management positions."

Although the cuts should be over by Halloween, the filing states that there may well be further job cuts to come. It's likely Sprint staff who survive this first round will be updating their resumes and looking around for more secure employment, particularly those with good skills to sell.

Still, Sprint needs to do something to get more competitive since it faces losing its market position to a newly resurgent T-Mobile US. T-Mob CEO John Legere has set his sights on Sprint's number-three spot and looks likely to take it in the near future.

Now that Sprint has officially withdrawn its bid for T-Mobile US, a move that gave Claure his job in the first place, the firm will have to grow to survive. Claure has said he wants more radio spectrum, but he's going to have to be careful or he won’t have the staff to exploit it. ®

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