Ameritrade to Cut 170 Employees

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Ameritrade Holding Corp., the fifth-largest U.S. online brokerage, will lay off 170 customer service employees, representing 7 percent of its staff of 2,300, according to reports.

The move follows a 9 percent layoff by the Omaha, NE, firm in January. The job cuts will affect employees at company call centers in Texas and Omaha. The company expects the cuts to save roughly $15 million per year.

Jack McDonnell, president/CEO of Ameritrade's online brokerage unit, resigned from the company two weeks ago. Peter Ricketts, senior vice president and son of Joseph Ricketts, founder and chairman of Ameritrade, will temporarily assume McDonnell's responsibilities.

Charles Schwab Corp. said in late March that it would cut up to 13 percent of its total staff, and CSFBdirect Inc., the online brokerage unit of Credit Suisse Group, said it would cut 10 percent of its employees.

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