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AT&T slashes 12,000 jobs, shifts to wireless

updated 11:35 am EST, Thu December 4, 2008

ATT Cuts 12000 Jobs

AT&T today announced one of the larger job cuts in the midst of the US recession and said it would drop 12,000 employees, or about 4 percent of its total worker base. The effort is attributed both to the poor economy as well as to a "changing business mix" that has left its traditional landline service in decline. Much of that business is shifting towards cellphones and other wireless services, the company says. It also plans to reduce its overall capital spending at the same time but won't have details until January.

Accordingly, the firm also says that some of the job losses will be offset by new hirings in areas that are growing, such as its cellular division as well as its Internet access and video services, such as U-verse. The telecom giant is nonetheless making the cuts following a 4,600-person cut targeted at its management and after it had announced a general reduction in headcount by 10,000 workers over three years.

The drops follow a quarter in which AT&T had the largest number of monthly phone subscribers in its history but at the expense of its profit margins, as the launch of the iPhone 3G squeezed profit margins well below what would have otherwise been expected. AT&T is known to be heavily subsidizing the up-front cost of the Apple phones with hopes that the higher monthly revenue per person for data use will more than offset the difference.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. inspectorgadget

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2002


    the deathstar

    AT&T corporate reaps what it sows, but too bad for the workers. I had multiple personal and business phone services carried by the old Ma Bell and then the baby bells for decades, then the AT&T deathstar gobbled them all up again and became so difficult to deal with I transferred al phone service to a voip provider. If I could somehow get rid of AT&T off my iPhone and keep the features, I'd do it in a second. Like the Borg, AT&T will continue; resistance is futile.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jan 2007


    Ah, free market...

    So, they have a more lucrative service in cell phones, which means they get to bail on the less lucrative land line commitments.

    I'd probably not mind (obviously at least 12,000 people would disagree), if it meant a reduction in cell service costs, but that won't happen because the savings will go straight to the executive compensation bucket.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999


    Capital spending

    "It also plans to reduce its overall capital spending at the same time but won't have details until January."

    I wonder if this means they will delay their 3G build-out. Att really needs to improve their network.

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