IBM – traditionally referred to as ‘Big Blue’ – announced plans to downsize and lose a third of its employees based in the United States. The company, which has traditionally been a software developer and hardware manufacturer, has over recent years changed direction and become a major player in the cloud arena, particularly with its purchase of Softlayer. Its move towards the cloud and Artificial Intelligence (AI) activity has spurred what is the company’s largest ‘rebalancing’ to date and comes in the wake of January’s announcement that IBM would lay-off staff at its US-based Global Technology Services (GTS) operations.
A report by Bloomberg suggested recently that at the end of 2015 IBM employed 378,000 people globally and engaged 70,000 new staff to support its change in focus. According the report, IBM still has 25,000 available vacant positions. The downsizing has hit a number of departments including the company’s AMS Strategic Technical Services, Global Services Parts Operations and AA IBM CMS Cloud Division, amongst others. Some reports have suggested that some posts are being moved to Brazil and Hungary. The company has also advised GTS staff at its UK operation that there is a possibility of downsizing.
“IBM is aggressively transforming its business to lead in a new era of cognitive and cloud computing. This includes remixing skills to meet client requirements,” suggested an IBM statement issued last week. Alongside downsizing IBM has been selling businesses and buying others to support its Watson ‘Big Data’ and AI activity. It has also been reported that laid-off staff will only receive 1 month’s severance pay instead of 6 month’s pay as was previously the company’s policy.
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