Sprint Nextel announced a new round of job cuts and store closings today, the Kansas City Star reports. As it falls further behind in the wireless industry, the company will slash 4,000 jobs and 1,600 contractor positions. It also will shut 125 stores—8% of its total—and 4,000 distribution sites embedded in other stores. The cuts are some of the first moves by new CEO Daniel Hesse.
Sprint is still the No. 3 wireless carrier in the US but has been steadily losing ground to AT&T and Verizon. The company, which lost almost 700,000 monthly calling plan subscribers in the fourth quarter of last year, may be a canary in a coal mine for the industry, an analyst tells Reuters: "The losses we're seeing at Sprint may be just the tip of the iceberg."