Hong Kong, Nov. 13 (AP): Embattled telecommunications firm WorldCom Inc said today it plans to lay off one-fifth of its staff in the Asia-Pacific region in a restructuring plan to boost profits.
WorldCom plans to cut 390 staff from its 1,800-person payroll in Asia-Pacific and move its customer service operations from Australia to Singapore, a company spokeswoman at its Asian headquarters in Hong Kong said.
The number of layoffs could turn out less than the estimate if Australia-based employees are willing to move to Singapore, she said.
She said the company would maintain its retail and wholesale voice, internet protocol and data services in the region.
WorldCom International president Seth Blumenfeld said in a statement: “We are confident that this renewed commitment to our Asia Pacific business strategy will allow us to achieve continued stable and structured growth in the current market environment.”
“It is our strong belief that this plan will allow WorldCom Asia Pacific to remain a highly competitive and stable communications service provider with world-class customer service. We will continue to provide customers with state-of-the-art data, internet and voice offerings throughout the Asia Pacific region.”
US-based WorldCom filed for bankruptcy protection in July after accumulating more than US $ 40 billion in debt.
Cable & Wireless layoff
Cable & Wireless says it will cut 3,500 jobs at its cash-draining Global unit, but its shares lost a third of their value because of the costs involved and disappointment that the cuts did not go deeper.
The US and European retreat will cost £ 800 million, bringing £ 400 million in savings a year and 200 million more in resulting capital expenditure cuts. As a result, C&W Global plans to stop losing cash by March 2004.
The retooling means the telecoms group’s US and European operations outside this country would now only serve multinational companies.