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Sprint Nextel to Consolidate Headquarters

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Sprint Nextel said it will consolidate its operational and corporate headquarters in Kansas as new Chief Executive Dan Hesse moves to cut costs at the telecommunications company.

The consolidation of Sprint Nextel's operational headquarters in Overland Park, Kan., and corporate headquarters in Reston, Va., will force the relocation of "a small number" of executives, the company said.

The move will "improve operational performance by immersing senior leaders in the company's operations." It also will cut travel expenses and "optimize" real estate assets, Sprint Nextel said.

"After a thorough review, we determined that this change is necessary now so that our leadership team can concentrate on improving our company's operations and create a single, performance-based culture," Hesse said. The company employs about 4,400 associates in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, and about 13,300 associates in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

There had been expectations of late that Sprint would consolidate its base of operations in its historic home of Overland Park. The company got the Reston location through its 2005 acquisition of Nextel Communications. Hesse had overseen Sprint's former local-phone business, Embarq, which is based in Overland Park.

Hesse has been cutting costs as Sprint loses more desirable customers and is still dealing with integration issues related to the Nextel purchase. Sprint said last month it would eliminate 4,000 jobs and close 8% of company-owned retail stores.

Putting all the executives under one roof is intended to streamline decision-making. The fact that top executives weren't united in one place became a symbol of the troubled integration and a continuing internal cultural rift.

In recent trading, Sprint Nextel shares were at $10.09, up 10 cents, or 1%.

-By Mike Barris, Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-5658; mike.barris@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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