Little Rock based Windstream Corp. announced Friday it will eliminate 400 positions company wide in an effort to "increase operational efficiency."

Windstream spokesman David Avery said 67 positions or employees of the 400 are in Arkansas, and 36 are in Little Rock.

The employees are to be let go by March 3, Avery said.

One of the positions affected is based in Windstream’s Greenbrier office, he said.

"Changes that affect people are never easy, but they are necessary for Windstream to succeed in a highly competitive marketplace," Jeff Gardner, president and chief executive officer of Windstream, said in a release. "We continue to invest in our growth areas, primarily business services and consumer broadband, and at the same time we must maintain a disciplined approach to expense management."

The eliminations are expected to result in annualized savings of approximately $20 million, Winstream said.

The company expects to incur a charge of $9 million to $10 million in the first quarter to pay severance benefits to affected employees.

In addition to severance payments, employees losing their jobs will receive outplacement counseling.

Windstream currently employees 13,500 nationwide. About 1,100 of Windstream’s positions are in Pulaski County.

The company specializes in network communications and provides broadband, phone and digital television services to rural areas.