November 26, 2004
Cingular to Reduce Work Force By 10 Percent
ATLANTA -- Cingular Wireless LLC, the nation's largest cell phone company, will cut about 10 percent of its 68,000 jobs over the next 12 to 18 months as it combines operations with the recently acquired AT&T Wireless, Cingular's chief executive said Tuesday.
Many of the 7,000 or so job cuts will come from administrative ranks, while relatively few if any would come from customer service, CEO Stan Sigman said.No cuts are expected until January to prevent disruptions during the key holiday-selling season. Company officials are still working on the exact numbers, and the cuts will be spread out over more than a year, he said.
"It's not going to be in the big groups of people. The big groups of people are in customer care," Sigman said. "This isn't about closing stores or distribution channels, nothing like that." He said Cingular's goal would be to hire those employees back as the company expands its subscriber base of 47.25 million.
"There will be people that will be affected by this, absolutely," Sigman said. "If you go to Redmond, Wash., where AT&T Wireless Services Inc. is based, there's anxiety there about how this is going to affect them and what is the impact on them. I've made a commitment that there will not be any forced layoffs until the first of the year."
Cingular is a joint venture of Atlanta-based BellSouth Corp. and San Antonio-based SBC Communications Inc.,