Struggling WorldCom is to cut 2,000 jobs in its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) unit in Berkshire, as well as discontinue niche services, the company revealed yesterday.

A new business plan has been developed for the Reading-based EMEA arm of WorldCom. The move is designed to generate a positive business cashflow by next year, the company explained. The job cuts represent about 25 per cent of its EMEA operation’s 8,300 workforce.

WorldCom will also make minimal new infrastructure investments and is to focus on voice, data and Internet services, it said in a statement.

The international arm of WorldCom has secured funding from its parent company until it becomes cashflow positive sometime in 2003, the company said. The funding is expected to ease customer concern, and end speculation of a sale of the EMEA business.

WorldCom of Clinton, Mississippi, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US in July. In June, it revealed it had accounted improperly for billions of dollars in revenue. Several of its former executives have since been indicted on securities fraud and other charges. On Friday, it disclosed plans to hunt for a CEO to replace John Sidgmore, who was named president and CEO in April.