Windstream to cut 350 jobs to improve cost structure, operations

Windstream said it is going to lay off 350 workers by Dec. 1 in an effort to improve its cost structure and improve its overall operational structure.

Nearly 120 of the affected positions will be eliminated through a voluntary buy-out initiative.

By making these changes, Windstream expects it will save $20 million in annualized savings. However, it expects to incur a one-time $7.5 million charge in the fourth quarter to pay for severance and other employee benefits costs.

In addition, Windstream will provide job transition assistance to the affected employees of this latest restructuring.

Jeff Gardner, president and CEO of Windstream, said in a release that these latest job cuts are "necessary to effectively manage costs."

Gardner added: "While we are eliminating certain roles across the company, we continue to invest in strategic areas of our business to grow revenue, better serve customers and create value for shareholders."

One area that's been a focus of strategic investment is in the business services sector. 

Windstream's efforts to carve out a niche in the underserved mid-sized business market segment appear to be paying off for the company. Despite seeing an overall decline in quarterly revenues, third-quarter 2014 enterprise and small business service revenues rose slightly year-over-year to $752 million.

This is not the first time Windstream has had to cut jobs.

In March, the service provider laid off 400 employees as part of its effort to sharpen its focus on becoming a bigger player in the enterprise services space. Similar to this recent round of cuts, nearly 175 workers' jobs were eliminated through what it said was a "voluntary separation initiative."

Earlier, Windstream cut between 375-400 management positions, which translated into almost 3 percent of its total 14,500 workforce in 2012. It also laid off 280 employees following its acquisition of PAETEC in 2011.

For more:
- see the release

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