IBM is trimming more jobs a week after its top executive said the company had hired 70,000 people in the last year—without also specifying the number of employees laid off in that timeframe.
Cuts at the company’s Research Triangle Park, N.C., operations were reported in local media and cuts elsewhere were reported in the IEEE Spectrum and other outlets.
IBM (IBM) typically tightens its belt in its first fiscal quarter, so this was not entirely unexpected, but things did get more painful this time out for employees who opt for early retirement. Changes to the company’s severance program cut packages from six months to one month for participants, according to a ZDnet report.
On the “Watching IBM” Facebook page, former IBMer Lee Conrad, who tracks job actions at the company, characterized what’s happening this week as a “massive job cut,” although he also acknowledged it is unclear how many jobs were lost.
Anonymous postings to The Layoff.com appear to show that layoffs, aka “resource actions” in IBM parlance, are taking place broadly.
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Asked for comment, an IBM spokesman said the company is “aggressively transforming its business to lead in a new era of cognitive and cloud computing. This includes remixing skills to meet client requirements.”
He reiterated the 70,000-people-hired stat and added that the company now lists more than 25,000 open positions.
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This is not IBM’s first rodeo. It cut jobs—also in the name of rebalancing—just over a year ago.
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IBM has been selling off non-core businesses for years now, and has doubled down on the aforementioned “cognitive and cloud computing” mantra of late. It’s also been buying up startups and big companies alike to jump start demand for its Watson cognitive computing business.
Last week, it inked an alliance with VMware (VMW) that may help companies move their traditional business applications to the IBM SoftLayer cloud (or enable those applications to work across SoftLayer and on-premises data centers).
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But that deal aside, the jury is still out, however, on how effective these efforts have been in offsetting declines in IBM’s traditional businesses especially as Amazon (AMZN) Web Services and Microsoft (MSFT) Azure woo big businesses, including key IBM customers, with rentable computing, storage, and networking capabilities from their respective clouds.
IBM is not alone in cutting heads of late.. VMware and NetApp (NTAP) have also launched layoffs over the last few weeks.