Windstream Announces 350 Layoffs

Windstream Corp. of Little Rock announced Tuesday that it will eliminate 350 positions companywide.

About 20 of those positions will be cut in Arkansas.

Approximately 100 of those positions were vacant and did not result in the firing of employees, company spokesperson David Avery said.

Avery attributed the cuts to "top line revenue pressure that we face from the residential voice business."

Despite the consistent residential line loss, Avery said home phone service will continue to play a role in Winstream's business model, even if that role shrinks as the firm focuses more on broadband and business enterprise.

Windstream expects to incur a charge of approximately $15 million in the fourth quarter to pay severance benefits to affected employees.  

Avery added that the positions are spread out across multiple departments.

While some employees will get their walking papers today, Windstream (NYSE: WIN) is seeking volunteers to help eliminate the positions.

Windstream will be providing severance, and laid-off employees are able to apply for other open positions within the firm.

"These changes are difficult because they affect people, but are necessary for Windstream to proactively manage the transformation of our business model and to continue our industry-leading financial performance," Windstream CEO Jeff Gardner said in a news release.

The cutbacks come a day after Windstream announced its intentions to sell $400 million in senior notes and to modify its existing credit agreements. The firm said it would use the money to finance the cash component of its recent acquisitions of D&E Communications Inc. and Lexcom Inc.