CenturyLink Inc (NYSE:CTL) announced it is laying off more than 160 employees after having recently closed on its acquisition of Level 3 Communications. The Louisiana-based telecommunications company said most of the CenturyLink layoffs will be effected over the next few weeks.
The telecom industry has been beset by a large number of job cuts in 2017. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) has cut well over two-thousand workers, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) has laid off close to 400, and Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) announced 200 layoffs, with another 170 jobs being relocated.
CenturyLink Acquires Level 3 Communications as Q3 Profits Fall
The layoffs have begun now that CenturyLink has closed on its $34.0-billion acquisition of Level 3 Communications, announced on November 1. The company confirmed that around 165 people will lose their jobs because of the CenturyLink-Level 3 merger.
Commenting on the layoffs, company spokesperson Annmarie Sartor, said, “As a result of our acquisition of Level 3, our customers, from individual consumers to global enterprises, benefit from our expanded, innovative network solutions and our complementary managed services. The combination of the two companies also has meant that we must eliminate redundant positions. As a result, we are eliminating IT positions in Product Development & Technology.”
When asked about whether additional layoffs would be coming, the company said it could not speculate about future actions.
“Our goal is to be the world’s best networking provider and we have the ability to achieve this as one company,” said Jeff Storey, CenturyLink’s president and chief operating officer. “CenturyLink is focused on providing a differentiated experience for our customers, while driving profitable growth and increasing free cash flow per share. Our scale and experience will enable us to deliver on behalf of our customers, employees and our shareholders.”
Those goals are going to take a while. CenturyLink announced that third-quarter sales declined eight percent year-over-year to $4.03 billion. Earnings, meanwhile, tumbled 39% year-over-year to $92.0 million, or $0.17 per share.
Things are a little better over at Level 3. Total revenue was flat at $2.0 billion, while earnings were up 10% at $157.0 million.
More Telecom Industry Layoffs in 2017
Layoffs have plagued the telecom industry throughout 2017. Oath Inc., part of Verizon’s Media and Telematics division, announced another round of layoffs, with nearly 500 job cuts. This represents four percent of the company’s global headcount.
These layoffs are also in addition to the approximately 2,100 job cuts announced at Oath in June, a then-15% reduction in the company’s total workforce. On top of that, Verizon laid off 155 employees at its go90 streaming service at the start of the year.
In late August, Comcast announced it was shedding 200 jobs at its Oak Brook, Illinois facility, with another 170 jobs being relocated to a nearby call center.
In November, AT&T closed its call center in East El Paso, Texas, a move that affected nearly 280 employees. Earlier this year, AT&T also closed is DSL Care Center in Detroit, gutting 53 jobs. Lastly, the company announced in March plans to lay off up to 54 employees at its Richardson, Texas call center.
“CenturyLink Announces Layoffs Post-Level 3 Buy,” Channel Partners, November 17, 2017.
“CenturyLink completes acquisition of Level 3,” CenturyLink Inc, November 1, 2017.
“CenturyLink reports third quarter 2017 results,” CenturyLink Inc, November 8, 2017.
“Verizon’s Oath Is Laying Off Around 500 AOL, Yahoo Employees,” Variety, November 17, 2017.
“Comcast laying off 200 at Oak Brook sales center,” Chicago Tribune, August 29, 2017.
“AT&T to close East El Paso call center by year’s end; 278 face layoff or relocation,” USA Today, September 14, 2017, September 15, 2017.
“AT&T to close Detroit Call Center, cut 53 jobs,” Crain’s Detroit Business, March 16, 2017.
“AT&T to lay off employees at Richardson office,” Dallas News, February 6, 2017.