IBM job cut total grows, employee group reports

Jun. 14, 2013 @ 10:55 AM

The number of recent job cuts at IBM Corp. has grown to more than 1,600, according to an employee advocacy organization tracking the reported cuts.

The company was expected to focus a workforce “rebalancing” in the second quarter, according to statements made by Mark Loughridge, IBM’s chief financial officer, in a conference call in April.
Loughridge said in the call, according to a transcript of the call on Morningstar.com, that the company was expecting to see costs of close to $1 billion connected with the rebalancing effort. The increase in costs in the year is up from the $800 million that he said the company spent on in the prior year.
He also, according to the transcript, said that like last year, the bulk of those costs to be outside the U.S.
Alliance@IBM, an employee advocacy organization that wants union bargaining rights with IBM, is tracking the cuts based on reports to the organization from employees. According to the organization’s website, the cuts totaled 1,631 as of Thursday.
There were cuts to the IBM’s Systems Technology Group, to corporate marketing and communications, and to software group employees, among other areas, according to Alliance@IBM.
Lee Conrad, Alliance@IBM’s national director, said in an email Tuesday that employees in the Research Triangle Park were affected, but he said Wednesday that the group did not know how many were from the RTP.
“We believe it is time for state government to demand the number from IBM,” Conrad said.
Doug Shelton, a spokesman for IBM, said in an email that he couldn’t comment on the number of employees affected in the RTP or on how many people are employed at the company’s site in the park.
The company does not break down its workforce head count below the global number. In total, the company employed 434,246 employees at the end of the year, according to the company’s annual report, up from 433,362 at the end of 2011 and up from 426,751 at the end of 2010.
Shelton said in an email that the worldwide headcount has increased, indicating that the cuts “aren’t simply about lowering head count costs” but is also about shifting resources and other goals.
Conrad said IBM’s U.S. workforce has been shrinking.