As promised, new Cablevision owner Altice is getting right to work trimming the fat at the New York City metro area cable and broadband provider. Cablevision-owned Newsday (hat tip, Fierce Cable) reports that Altice has let go of roughly 100 employees at the cable company’s Beth Page, NY headquarters this week. The company has also been getting rid of a number of higher-paid executives at the company, most choosing to take cash payouts as per the “change of control” clauses in their contracts.
The company has also been letting go of employees at Altice-acquired Suddenlink; some employees stating Altice’s cost cutting has resulted in a “culture of fear” at the company.
“We understand that in order to deliver exceptional service, we need to have strong, talented employees, and we’re focused on creating a culture where our employees are inspired to serve our customers,” Altice said of the changes.
Altice boss Patrick Drahi was quick to highlight soon after the deal was struck that there were around 300 Cablevision employees currently making more than $300,000 a year.
“I don’t like to pay salaries. I pay as little as I can,” Drahi said soon after the deal was signed, adding that Cablevision has “many layers of people that are highly paid. This will change.”
Altice has a reputation as a hard-nosed cheapskate overseas, something that equates to cleaner balance sheets, but not always better service. Altice-owned French carrier SFR jas repeatedly come under fire across the pond for trimming costs, but failing to invest those funds into necessary network upgrades and customer support.
That said, Altice makes it clear to Fierce Cable that the company is also hiring; the company adding added 49 workers to its U.S. operations last week. Cutting costs and bringing new blood on board (more likely to be open to doing things differently) after a merger is certainly nothing new. It will still probably take a year or so before customers at these companies can tell if the deal winds up offering a net improvement is service quality and support.