America’s third-largest cell phone provider, Sprint Nextel, is cutting approximately 8,000 jobs, or 14% of its workforce, in an effort to reduce expenses in response to the deepening recession.
The company, which has been struggling to remain competitive since acquiring Nextel Communications in 2005, expects to save $1.2 billion a year as a result of the layoffs. Some analysts and investors are skeptical of the move, however, suggesting that it could damage the company in the long term.
“It’s a difficult industry in which to shrink your way to greatness,” commented Christoper King, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus & Co. “Investors would much rather see the company growing this business, hiring people.”
Sprint has not given many details about the upcoming layoffs, but says it plans to avoid major cutbacks in its customer service and network quality divisions, which are key components to its recovery strategy.
“Customer care is a priority,” said Sprint spokesman, James Fisher. “We’re doing so well and we’ve made so much progress (with that) that we want to continue that.”
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