Sprint ( FON) set plans to fire 500 workers and take at least $400 million in pretax charges to close its cash-burning Web hosting operations. The Overland Park, Kan., telco also told investors it would take some $40 million in charges to pay off three longtime top executives, two of whom were forced out earlier this year in a tax-shelter scandal. The company said the bulk of the charge, amounting to $400 million to $475 million, would cover Sprint's plan to wind down the Web hosting business. For the 12 months ended March 31, hosting activities contributed $60 million in revenue and cut FON Group's per-share earnings by about a dime, the company said. Tuesday's charge will amount to 20 cents a share after taxes, Sprint said. The company also said it would take charges amounting to $42 million for separation agreements regarding former top officers Bill Esrey, Ron LeMay and Richard Devlin. Use of a questionable tax shelter led the board to force out Esrey as chief executive and LeMay as Sprint's president and chief operating officer earlier this year. Devlin quit as general counsel in April, citing personal reasons. Esrey officially stepped down last month at Sprint's annual meeting, giving way to former BellSouth chief Gary Forsee. At that event, Sprint shareholders approved a nonbinding proposal requiring holder approval of executive severance packages calling for more than double an officer's base salary plus bonuses.