Sprint owner confirms job cuts will be 'in the thousands'

SoftBank also wants $2 billion cut from annual costs

downsized layoffs profit loss
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Sprint Chairman and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son told reporters in Tokyo early Wednesday that job cuts at Sprint will be "in the thousands" as part of a restructuring plan.

His comments came as SoftBank, which owns more than 70% of Sprint, reported its quarterly earnings.

"Sprint is now in the position to increase the pace of user acquisition while cutting costs," Son said, according to Bloomberg and other news sources. "We will also cut staff. The cuts will be in the thousands."

Son's comments are not out of line with things Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure has been telling Sprint workers for months.

On Tuesday, Sprint's stock price sagged downward after an earnings report included a statement saying that the carrier plans to cut $2 billion or more in operating expenses for its 2016 fiscal year, which begins in April.

Son also said the $2 billion is a "minimum target" and should be the amount slashed annually, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. The company now has more than $25 billion in annual costs.

Sprint has been investing in attracting new customers -- an effort that has been costly but effective. On Tuesday, Sprint reported it gained 237,000 postpaid phone customers in its second fiscal quarter, which ended Sept. 30. It was the first time the company had showed gains on that measure in two years. It also reported its lowest customer cancellation rate in company history.

In November 2014, Sprint had said it would cut 2,000 jobs as part of $1.5 billion in cost reductions. That announcement came after Sprint had cut 5,000 jobs from January through September 2014. The company had 31,000 workers at the start of its current fiscal year on April 1.

It isn't clear if Son's latest comments alter Sprint's earlier tally for expected job cuts, which are expected to begin next year. A spokesman at Sprint didn't offer much clarity when asked about the matter on Wednesday.

"As we've been saying for a few weeks now, we don't have specific numbers yet," said the Sprint spokesman, Dave Tovar. "We are working through the process to identify areas across the company where we can reduce costs. That will include some job reductions. We will share more details when we can."

This story, "Sprint owner confirms job cuts will be 'in the thousands'" was originally published by Computerworld.

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