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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

March 22, 2012 at 2:59 PM

T-Mobile layoffs – more to come, CEO says

It turns out the end of the AT&T merger didn’t mean all the jobs would be spared at T-Mobile USA.

The Bellevue-based company today announced that it’s laying off 3,300 workers at seven of its 24 call centers, including one in Redmond, Ore.

Those workers are being offered the option to transfer to 17 remaining call centers, including centers in Bellingham; Salem, Ore., and Meridian, Idaho. The 17 centers will add 1,400 positions, for a net loss nationally of 1,900 positions.

Hummcropped.jpg

Chief Executive Philipp Humm (left) warned employees that additional cuts are coming elsewhere in the company. In a memo, he said most of the changes will be announced by the end of May.

The next reorganizations won’t hit the remaining call centers, engineering technicians or front-line employees in corporate-owned retail stores, he said.

At the same time, the company’s gearing up for a $4 billion update of its network, including the launch of 4G LTE service in 2013. Also planned is a brand overhaul and the addition of 1,000 business sales positions.

Here’s Humm’s memo:

T-Mobile CEO on Call Center Consolidation

March 22, 2012

Dear colleagues,

I have difficult news to share today: we are consolidating our call center operations and closing seven of our 24 facilities. This decision was not easily reached, but it is a necessary measure. The reality is our cost structure must be better optimized to match our customer base and call volumes.

The affected Customer Service facilities are Allentown, Pennsylvania; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Frisco, Texas; Brownsville, Texas; Lenexa, Kansas; Thornton, Colorado; and Redmond, Oregon. The consolidations will result in 1,900 net job reductions. Approximately 3,300 employees at the seven impacted facilities will be affected, and we will begin hiring immediately at the remaining 17 call centers to fill as many as 1,400 positions.

Impacted call centers will remain open for three months following this announcement. Affected customer service representatives will have the option to transfer to any of the remaining 17 call centers. Employees who choose not to transfer and are employed on the date the center closes, will be offered transition packages with severance pay and outplacement support. T-Mobile is partnering with an outplacement firm to provide on-site career centers at all seven facilities. Every employee will have access to a personal career coach and be offered job search training and tools. In addition, T-Mobile will pay for two months of continued health care coverage under COBRA (which is available for up to 18 months for eligible employees who elect this option).

Looking ahead, we will also be restructuring other parts of the company. It is important to note this will not include our customer service representatives in the remaining 17 call centers, technicians in engineering or front line employees in our T-Mobile corporate-owned stores. In other parts of the organization, the majority of changes will be announced by the end of May 2012. Senior leaders are intently focused on making the best possible choices standing on the foundation of our shared T-Mobile Values. The outcome will be an organization that is structured efficiently and closer to the customer. Leaders will share more information as plans evolve.

These are not easy steps to take – or, I know, to read. We must address our business realities so we can focus on getting T-Mobile back to growth.

Our commitment, as we go through this process, is to provide clear perspective and understandable rationale, be forthright in our communications regarding our decisions, and be respectful and compassionate in our treatment of affected individuals.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment and support.

With sincere appreciation,

Philipp Humm

CEO & President

T-Mobile USA

Comments | Topics: AT&T, call center, layoffs

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