Today, T-Mobile filed a document with the SEC detailing huge layoffs the company is making. About 7% of T-Mobile’s current workforce is getting the boot, which is approximately 5,000 jobs. T-Mobile has set a timeline for impacted roles to be eliminated over the next five weeks.
Earlier this month, Marcus East separated from the company, with the prediction by us that additional layoffs would be coming. Those rumors have come true, and today the company has announced them. The announcement begins with T-Mobile preparing for a pre-tax expense of $540 million dollars for the cuts to happen. A small price to pay after yet another quarter of record-breaking success.
CEO Mike Sievert Addresses The Layoffs
A communication went to all employees regarding the announcement today. This can also be read in the filing, and provides more details.
The roles impacted are not frontline, and aims to remove a lot of redundancy in the business, but also includes technology roles. In the email, CEO Mike Sievert states, “These shifts will impact close to 5,000 positions, a little under 7% of our total employees in locations across the country, primarily in corporate and back-office, and some technology roles. The retail and consumer care experts who take care of our customers will not be impacted. After this process is complete, I do not envision any additional widespread company reductions again in the foreseeable future.“
The email also details how remaining competitive means requiring change. “What it takes to attract and retain customers is materially more expensive than it was just a few quarters ago,” Sievert writes. “…doing everything we are doing and just doing it faster is not enough to deliver on these changing customer expectations going forward.“
Financial wellness is a common theme throughout the message. Sievert also stating “This is about re-prioritizing our work and doing it differently, NOT about foisting more work on fewer people.” There are more comments about “merger synergies” (ironically, a polite term that also includes layoffs), optimizing every dollar, and meeting shareholder and customer obligations.
Finally, Sievert states, “This is a large change, and an unusual one for our company” and “we do not envision making additional large-scale reductions across the company again in the foreseeable future.” It is important to remember T-Mobile has been cutting support roles and has already executed multiple layoffs since the merger. This is not really as unusual as Sievert claims, and at this point, a grain of salt is necessary when it comes to T-Mobile and the promises they make.
More Layoffs Mean More Post-Merger Questions
Looking at the numbers, it can be deduced what T-Mobile’s approximate employee count is. If 7% is 5,000 jobs it means T-Mobile employs about 71,400 people currently. These layoffs will bring that number down to approximately 66,400. T-Mobile stated in their annual report the year of the merger that they employed approximately 75,000 people at that time.
T-Mobile made not just a promise, but a commitment to be jobs positive as part of the merger with Sprint. The CWA union was a loud opposition voice for the merger during the debate, warning T-Mobile will use the merger as an opportunity to cut jobs. They estimated 4,500 ‘headquarters’ jobs would be cut minimum. This layoff alone accounts for 5,000, and isn’t even T-Mobile’s first round of them.
T-Mobile continues to be jobs negative since April 1, 2020 when the merger was completed. From approximately 75,000 to now an estimated 66,400 isn’t just negative, it is an 11.5% total reduction.
This round of layoffs likely does include redundancy and attempts to shed overlapping responsibility to be a more agile business. But this still contradicts the commitments – this isn’t about new opportunities or opening new doors, but closing old ones. There is no jobs positivity in this change, only elimination. When T-Mobile and Sprint merged, they made a promise to the American people to provide opportunities – so where are they?
When will the SEC get involved in T-Mobile breaking its merger commitments about job growth? Do you think it is time for them to get involved? Sound off in the comments below.