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March 20, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

With $12,000m in regulated local telephone businesses and more lightly regulated services, GTE Corp is bigger than any of the seven regional phone companies spun off from AT&T, but because its local phone companies are scattered across the US, it is much less visible. In fact, GTE has its own seven dwarfs – GTE California in Thousand Oaks; GTE Florida in Tampa; GTE Hawaiian Tel in Honolulu; GTE North in Westfield, Indiana; GTE Northwest in Everett, Washington; GTE South in Durham, North Carolina; and GTE Southwest in San Angelo, Texas. The company now reckons that in the heightened competitive environment, it needs to run the phone businesses much more efficiently, and is embarking on a reorganisation that is likely to lead to substantial redundancies among the 112,000 people employed in the telephone businesses, although it this stage it can give no estimate of numbers. The aim is to consolidate the seven existing phone companies listed above into even fewer groups – the number was brought down to seven following a previous consolidation that cost 5,000 jobs and put the headquarters staff from the seven firms into a new central headquarters, which one analyst suggested would be in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas. The company was also unable to say how many employees there were at present in the seven regional headquarters. Also in response to the relaxation on the unregulated services the seven regionals are now permitted to offer, GTE says it will form a new business group to enter emerging information services markets, likely to include some existing businesses such as GTE Telemessenger and electronic funds transfer operations; it may also make acquisitions in the computer-based information services field.

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