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EarthLink laid off local staff

Unannounced cut apparently did not reach 50 people

By , Columbian Business Editor
Published: January 16, 2015, 4:00pm

Atlanta-based EarthLink confirmed this week that it laid off some employees at its Vancouver EarthLink Business offices in Vancouver last week, without disclosing how many.

The company, which provides and manages network and IT solutions for business customers, offered no details of what spokeswoman Pamela O’Connor called a “small nationwide downsizing.”

In response to The Columbian, O’Connor issued this statement:

“As EarthLink continues to balance resources in 2015 to focus on profitable growth and our new strategic managed services business unit, we decided to eliminate the positions of some incredibly talented employees for whom we have great respect and appreciation. After careful consideration, we determined that this reduction was necessary to realign according to our business plan and to enable the company’s future success. The reductions at our Vancouver location were minimal and we expect that our Vancouver office will remain a core location moving forward.

“We did not take this decision about job impacts lightly and are committed to fair and compassionate treatment of our people throughout the process.”

The company issued no statements on its website or in government filings about the layoffs nationally.

O’Connor would not provide an employee count for the Vancouver office, at 3000 Columbia House Blvd. near the Grand Central shopping center. The Columbian reported in 2011 that the Vancouver office, one of dozens of EarthLink Business sales offices nationwide, had 285 employees.

Any layoff of 50 or more employees would have required notice to the state Employment Security Department. A spokesman for that department said no notice had been filed.

EarthLink Business is a corporate successor to New Edge Network, a Vancouver-based startup formed in 1999. EarthLink Holdings Corp., parent to EarthLink Business, acquired it in 2006, rebranding it as EarthLink Business in 2011.

That business has struggled in recent years, competing against much larger companies, including ATT and Verizon. In its quarterly report for last year’s third fiscal quarter, EarthLink reported a 3 percent decline in Business Services revenue. Business Services revenue for the first nine months of the year fell from $728.5 million in 2013 to $705.2 million last year, according to the company’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“Our traditional voice and data business service revenues, specifically traditional voice and lower-end, single site broadband services, have been declining due to competitive pressures and changes in the industry, and we expect this trend to continue,” the company wrote in its filing. It said that it is shifting toward “growth products” and is taking steps “to lower the cost structure of our Business Service operations.”