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Thousands Take AT&T Buyout Offer

June 15, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ AT&T Corp.’s early retirement offer really has proven far more tempting to its 52,200 managers than the company expected.

The nation’s largest telecommunications company on Monday said that 15,300 employees _ about 40 percent more than AT&T initially projected _ agreed to retire early with up to 20 percent more of their pensions than they’d normally be entitled to.

The company is paring its vast management staff by one-quarter as part of a cost-cutting unveiled early this year to save it $1.6 billion in 1998 alone. Including management buyouts, AT&T is cutting about 22,300 jobs, or 17 percent of its global staff.

Managers accepting buyouts will start leaving at the end of the month, and most will depart this summer, spokesman Burke Stinson said.

Before AT&T starts saving money from the buyouts, it will spend heavily to dole out an average of $300,000 to each departing manager. But it says that cost will be more than offset by net gains from businesses it is selling.

Two weeks ago, AT&T said at least 14,000 managers were leaving, but Monday’s tally is final.

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