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Comcast plans layoffs of Chicago area sales reps

A sign outside the Comcast Center is seen in Philadelphia. The telecommunications provider warned sales reps across Chicagoland that some of them will be let go.

Less than two weeks before Christmas, Comcast warned sales representatives across the greater Chicago area, including at the Hobart office, that some of them face layoffs.

The Philadelphia-based telecommunications giant, known for its Xfinity cable and internet services, says a restructuring of its approach to sales in the Chicago area will require a smaller headcount going forward, as more customers sign up for service online.

"We’re creating a new territory-based sales model that will connect us more closely with our Chicago area residential prospects and customers," Comcast Greater Chicago Region Vice President of Communications Jack A. Segal said. "By giving highly trained sales professionals direct responsibility for entire neighborhoods, we can provide a better experience for those who are interested in our services, during and after the sale. We did notify some employees here that their positions won’t be part of the new structure."

The company would not disclose how many workers are being laid off.

"That’s competitive information that we’re not sharing publicly," Segal said. "We’re encouraging impacted employees to apply for open positions, and we’re providing outplacement services to those who leave the company."

He said displaced workers will "receive generous severance packages to ease their transitions."

"What we’re doing is giving smaller groups of highly trained direct sales professionals responsibility for entire communities," Segal said. "The new territory sales model is in line with other changes we’ve made in response to our customers’ evolving preferences, including the expansion of our retail presence and the growth of our digital and online sales platforms."

As of Wednesday, Comcast had not filed Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notices with Indiana or Illinois.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.