Sprint to Cut Jobs, Shut Stores; Stock Falls Most in 25 Years

Article excerpt

Byline: Kara Rowland, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Sprint Nextel Corp. yesterday said it will fire 4,000 employees and close 125 retail stores as the Reston wireless carrier continues to hemorrhage subscribers.

The move sent shares plummeting 25 percent to $8.70 on the New York Stock Exchange - the biggest drop the company has seen in 25 years, according to Bloomberg News.

Sprint lost 683,000 contracted subscribers in the fourth quarter, leading new Chief Executive Officer Dan Hesse to announce a downsizing plan that is expected to save the firm as much as $800 million this year. The latest round of layoffs come a year after Sprint eliminated 5,000 jobs, cutting its work force to 60,000.

"It's certainly a competitive industry right now and results haven't been in line with expectations," Sprint spokesman Rich Pesce said. "We're definitely confident that this is a step in the right direction to turn things around."

The company has not yet decided which of its 1,400 stores will close, Mr. Pesce said, nor has it identified the jobs being terminated, although Sprint said the layoffs will include management and non-management employees.

Sprint's executive headquarters in Reston staffs 4,400 people; the company's operational headquarters in Overland Park, Kan. …