Chicago (April 8, 2002) — Beleaguered firm Andersen made official Monday what had been rumored for weeks, as it formally launched a massive reduction in its U.S. workforce by roughly 7,000 people — or about 25 percent of its domestic personnel.

The firm said the largest areas affected by the furloughs would be in the areas of its audit practice and administrative services.

"Of all the issues we have confronted recently, none compare to actions we are now forced to take with our employees," U.S. managing partner Larry Gorrell said in a statement, adding that the decision to slash the workforce "is even more painful in light of the loyalty, commitment and hard work that our employees have demonstrated during this difficult time."

The firm said the process could stretch out for several months.

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