CenturyLink Cut Thousands of Workers Amid 'Transformation'

CenturyLink had 52,500 employees after buying Level 3. That number is much lower now.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

April 18, 2019

2 Min Read
layoff pink slips

Thousands of CenturyLink workers lost their jobs last year in the aftermath of it finalizing its $34 billion Level 3 Communications acquisition.

In its 2017 annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), CenturyLink said it had 52,500 employees after its Level 3 acquisition was completed. In its 2018 annual report, the company said it had about 45,000 employees. It included no explanation for the job cuts.

Last May, CenturyLink confirmed it was laying off hundreds of its workers, or 2 percent of its workforce, as a result of its Level 3 acquisition, increased efficiencies and automation. This was after the company laid off more than 150 employees right after the acquisition closed.

You can keep up with the Channel Partners telecom and IT layoff tracker to see which companies are cutting jobs and how the channel is impacted.

According to our sister site Light Reading, the scale of CenturyLink’s reduction shown in SEC filings as a percentage of the workforce is bigger than last year’s cuts at AT&T and Verizon, the two largest operators in the U.S. market.


CenturyLink’s Mark Molzen

When contacted about the cuts, CenturyLink spokesman Mark Molzen provided the following statement:

“CenturyLink is a vibrant global business in the midst of a transformation from telecom to technology leader. Over the course of the last two years, we have reduced redundant positions, as a result of the Level 3 acquisition, and continue to optimize our workforce as a result of our transformation initiatives, all focused on creating a highly differentiated customer experience.”

Last month, CenturyLink’s stock plummeted past a 20-year low after it reported it was unable to meet the deadline for filing its 10-K with the SEC.

In the meantime, the telecommunications giant posted weaker-than-expected fourth quarter earnings, while cutting its dividend by more than one-half to just $1 per share, as it moves to cut its overall debt load from approximately $35.4 billion, according to TheStreet.

It is expected to report its next quarterly earnings on May 8.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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