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MCI WorldCom To Cut 2,000 Jobs

December 11, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ MCI WorldCom Inc., the recently merged telecommunications giant, confirmed today that it will lay off about 2,000 workers as part of its first broad effort to slash billions of dollars in expenses.

The cutbacks, which represent about 2.7 percent of the company’s work force, will eliminate jobs that were duplicated in the September merger of WorldCom Inc. and MCI Communications Corp., spokeswoman Jamie DePeau said.

The layoffs primarily involve network operations, information technology and engineering positions, DePeau said.

The heaviest cuts will occur at the company’s Richardson, Texas, network operations center, which will lose about 300 jobs; the Carey, N.C., site, which will lose 150, and the Tulsa, Okla., site, which will lose about 120. Dozens of other sites will lose jobs, DePeau said, but no facilities will be shut down.

The job cuts are part of the company’s previously announced plans to save $2.5 billion next year. Layoffs have become a trademark of Chief Executive Bernard Ebbers, who has initiated broad cost cuts in roughly 50 previous telecom acquisitions.

Despite the reductions, the company has told federal regulators that it expects to eventually add some 10,000 jobs as it keeps up with rising demand from large corporate customers for its array of telecom services.

DePeau said the employees laid off today will be considered for other positions, most likely in the company’s growing internet data and international businesses.

Other new jobs are expected to include technical workers to run the company’s network as well as salespeople to sell the company’s range of services, from voice and data transmission to Internet access.

After the job cuts, the combined company, based in Jackson, Miss., will employ about 73,000 people.

The new company is the nation’s second-largest long-distance provider behind AT&T. Prior to the deal, MCI ranked No. 2 among long-distance companies, and WorldCom was the fourth largest.

In morning trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market, shares of MCI WorldCom rose $1, to $63.75.

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