Am I Next? Cost-cutting layoffs at General Communications, Inc. (GCI - Alaska)

Anchorage, Alaska-based General Communication Inc. (GCI) which provides telecommunications services (telephone, television, internet, cellular) in Alaska has announced an immediate reduction in force to compensate for a lack of growth and poor performance in 2018, including the loss of $28 million in Universal Service Fund revenue. The layoff will affect 87 employees.

According to GCI President and CEO Greg Chapados…

“I have some serious news to share with you. This morning, GCI is letting go 87 employees in a reduction in force. Ron and I deeply appreciate the many contributions these employees made to GCl's past success, and we regret that the reduction has become necessary. Since the Alaska recession began in late 2015, I've repeatedly said in company meetings that we would take whatever steps were needed to keep the company strong. My hope at the time was that we would be able to avoid a reduction in force by identifying new growth opportunities and implementing other right-sizing changes.”

We are in a tough market right now, but we have the opportunity to grow by taking share from our competitors. To do so1 we need to concentrate our energy and resources on launching the products/services our customers need and want while providing a first-rate network experience. I am convinced that we can overcome today's headwinds. Over the past forty years, we've overcome other serious challenges. What it will take is for us, individually and as a team, to own the various elements of our business and strive every day to execute flawlessly. Execution on every front is the key to our future success. One last but very important thing: Ron and I know that this reduction will be challenging both to those who are leaving and those who must take up the slack. Each of us as GCI employees need to support one another as we adjust to this major change.”

It is likely that the cost-cutting measure was “suggested” by Liberty Interactive who completed the acquisition of GCI in May 2018.

One cynic commented, “Maybe they could start by taking a look at the salaries of their executives and the operational costs of their high end, luxurious fly-in lodge, Agulowak.” The retreat is located on the Agulowak River inside Alaska's Wood Tikchik State Park and is said to be quite plush.

Change is coming. There will always be a tomorrow, no matter how much you may try to ignore it. There are no guarantees in life, or promises for a bright future. Just because something bad hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't. It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere ... are you now wondering, Am I Next?