Ruth SmythKANSAS CITY, Mo. – H&R Block will cut 400 jobs as it realigns its field and support organization as it seeks to cut costs following a disappointing tax season. The company has also closed about 400 under-performing offices out of 11,000 retail locations. The changes were announced by CEO Russ Smyth.


The company expects the changes to cut operating expenses by $140 million to $150 million annually by April 30, 2012, the end of the fiscal year. In a prepared statement, Smyth said the company needs to narrow its focus and invest in a few key initiatives that will have the greatest impact in attract and retaining clients. Block expects to record a pre-tax charge for severance related costs of about $28 million in the first quarter ending July 31.

This action follows the resignation of Becky Shulman, Block's CFO on April 30. Shulman, who walked away with a cash severance of $650,000, had been CFO since March 2008 and was the latest in what has been a substantial change in the list of named executives over the last two years.


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