T-Mobile USA Inc. is cutting 7% of its staff to rein in costs as the company spends heavily to attract new subscribers in an increasingly competitive market.
The move will affect about 5,000 positions, mostly corporate and back-office staff along with some technology roles, T-Mobile said in a regulatory filing. Retail and consumer-care experts won’t be impacted.
Chief Executive Officer Mike Sievert said in a letter to employees that the cost of attracting and retaining customers is “materially more expensive than it was just a few quarters ago.” Building out the company’s high-speed internet business and efforts in other areas “is not enough to deliver on these changing customer expectations going forward,” he said.
The move signals that T-Mobile is looking to offset a new round of heavy discounts and free phone promotions going into the holiday season, fueled in part by the arrival of the newest version of Apple Inc.’s iPhone. T-Mobile, like other US carriers, is grappling with a slowdown in subscriber growth as cable giants Comcast Corp. and Charter Communications Inc. sign up hundreds of thousands of new customers by offering free mobile lines.
Sievert said he doesn’t anticipate any additional widespread company reductions in the foreseeable future.
The layoffs are something of a surprise for the fastest-growing wireless carrier in the US. Last month T-Mobile topped profit estimates and raised its subscriber forecast for the year. The report stood out from its peers Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc., which both reported disappointing customer gains.
AT&T Inc. has also been cutting jobs, eliminating 74,130 employees, including through divestitures, or 32% of its total staff since the beginning of 2021 through June 30. AT&T increased its cost cut target by $2 billion to $8 billion over the next three years. The Dallas-based phone giant is currently restructuring operations by reducing more than 300 offices nationwide to 9 hubs. The move is expected to displace between 6% and 15% of its staff of 156,630.