Windstream Cuts 21 Jobs in Arkansas

Windstream Cuts 21 Jobs in Arkansas

Windstream Holdings Inc. of Little Rock announced Thursday that it cut 21 positions in various workgroups in Arkansas, including 18 in Little Rock. 

There were also layoffs in other states, but Spokesman David Avery told Arkansas Business by email that Windstream is not disclosing the total. He said the company would provide severance and outplacement assistance to individuals whose positions were eliminated.

"As we announced on our most recent earnings call, we are instituting some workforce changes, alongside other cost initiatives, to better serve our customers and operate more efficiently," Avery said. "While we continue to invest in the strategic growth areas of our business, we must remain disciplined in our overall cost structure and that forces us to make tough decisions at times that affect our people."

Windstream employs about 13,000 people, including about 1,400 in Arkansas.

In its most recent earnings release, the company said that it completed its purchase of EarthLink Holdings Corp. of Atlanta in February. Windstream and Earthlink merged in an all-stock deal valued at about $1.1 billion, including debt. In July, Windstream closed on a $225 million purchase of Broadview Broadview Networks Holdings Inc. of Rye Brook, New York

Avery said Thursday's layoffs are separate from the expected synergies from the EarthLink and Broadview transactions. He pointed out that in its most recent earnings release, Windstream said it expected to realize about $25 million in savings this year from workforce changes and other initiatives.

On Aug. 3, Windstream announced it would end its quarterly shareholder dividend, sending its share price (NYSE: WIN) from $3.50 to $2.38. Since then, Windstream stock has closed at lower than $2.38 every day; it closed at $1.96 on Thursday.