Updated: EarthLink’s (ELNK) Helio ‘Realigning’, Cutting 100 Jobs


“Virtual” mobile carrier Helio is refocusing its business and could cut jobs, according to reports. Moconews says the company will shift its strategy from trying to be a nationwide carrier to focusing on big cities. GigaOM reports that Helio is “rumoured to be contemplating job cuts” that could happen “sometime this week.” Updated: A Helio spokesman confirms the company is cutting 100 jobs, or about 15% of its work force, primarily from its field sales team.


Both moves make sense and neither comes as a surprise. Tuesday, parent company EarthLink, which co-owns Helio with Korean wireless giant SK Telecom, cut almost half its staff, in part because Helio is burning a hole in its wallet. Last quarter, Helio lost $84 million on $33 million of revenue. It is projected to lose at least $300 million this year. And it is a year old and boasts a mere 100,000 subscribers.

In July, new EarthLink CEO Rolla Huff said Helio’s free-spending days were over, and said future funding would come only if Helio meets “agreed-upon operating milestones.” Trimming back marketing expenses is the least the company can do.