November 4, 2008
Cox Communications Inc. said today it plans to cut 460 jobs, or about 2 percent of its total workforce, as it looks to improve efficiencies and competitiveness in a tough economic environment.
That job-cutting process will include "voluntary early retirement and natural attrition," according to a Cox spokesman. However, non-voluntary layoffs could enter the picture depending on how the initial efforts go.
"We just started this process this week. We hope to have everything completed by the end of the first quarter" of 2009, the spokesman said.
Cox is not targeting cuts to specific functions of the company or any specific regions or markets. The 2 percent reduction is a general number that will be applied across the entire company.
However, one group that will not be affected is Cox's budding wireless group. The MSO is in the process of building out elements of its own 3G network and putting in the piece parts to leapfrog to 4G long-term evolution (LTE) technology using Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) and 700 MHz spectrum already obtained at auction. Cox expects to launch mobile services next year. (See Cox Preps Cellular Network, Eyes LTE and Cox Wireless: Soup to Nuts .)
Cox has yet to say how many employees are dedicated to the wireless unit at present or how many it anticipates having once the division is completely fleshed out.
"Wireless is going to be a tremendous growth area for next year. We're staffing up as the business requires and as we prepare for launch," the Cox official says.
The coming cuts at Cox follow a reduction underway at fellow cable MSO Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), which is expected to cut as many as 300 jobs, or 1.5 percent, from the MSO's Eastern Division, which presently employs about 20,000. (See Comcast Makes Cuts Out East .)
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News
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