Windstream to ax 400 jobs, expects $20M in annual savings

Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN) is laying off about 400 employees by March in an effort it says will increase its operational efficiency as it continues to sharpen its focus on becoming a bigger player in the enterprise services space.

About 175 workers' jobs were eliminated through what it said was a "voluntary separation initiative."

"We continue to invest in our growth areas, primarily business services and consumer broadband, and at the same time we must maintain a disciplined approach to expense management," said Jeff Gardner, president and CEO of Windstream, in a release.

By making these job cuts Windstream expects to save about $20 million in annual costs. It also expects to incur a $9 million to $10 million charge in the first quarter of 2014 to pay severance to employees that were affected by the company's move.

This is not the only time the telco has had to conduct layoffs. In 2012, it cut between 375-400 management positions, which translated into almost 3 percent of its total 14,500 workforce. It also laid off 280 employees following its acquisition of PAETEC in 2011.

Regardless of this near-term setback, Windstream continues to make progress in growing its presence in the business services segment.

While it won't release its fourth-quarter 2013 earnings until Feb. 27, in the third quarter of 2013 business revenues rose 1 percent year-over-year to $916 million. IP-based voice and data, dedicated Internet access (DIA) and data center services were $407 million, up 5 percent year-over-year.

For more:
- see the release

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