Cingular lays off 7,000

Jobs cuts follow merger

US mobile firm Cingular is laying off 7,000 people, or ten per cent of its workforce, as part of its integration of AT&T's wireless unit.

The firm was expected to cut jobs as part of the integration and large numbers of AT&T execs have been busy tidying up their CVs, according to the FT. Cingular has already merged the firm's customer service divisions and is in the process of combing the two networks.

A spokesman for the firm told Bloomberg that most job cuts would affect administrative staff, the firm will try to reduce the impact on subscribers by delaying job cuts for customer facing staff. Compulsory job cuts won't start until early next year.

Stan Sigman, Cingular CEO, told AP: "It's not going to be in the big groups of people. The big groups of people are in customer care. This isn't about closing stores or distribution channels, nothing like that."

Cingular bought AT&T's wireless unit in October for $41bn. ®

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