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United Launch Alliance to lay off up to 875 by end of 2017 - CEO

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., April 14 (Reuters) - United Launch Alliance plans to cut up to 875 jobs before the end of 2017 to better compete against rivals bankrolled by billionaire entrepreneurs including Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, ULA's chief executive officer said on Thursday.

ULA, a partnership of Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co, expects a first round of 375 job cuts to be accomplished this year, mostly through voluntary layoffs. In an interview with Reuters, ULA CEO Tory Bruno said another 400 to 500 employees would be cut by the end of 2017.

"We're in the process of transforming our company," Bruno said.

(Reporting by Irene Klotz; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)