IBM is to lay off an unknown number of employees for the first time since new CEO Arvind Krishna took over. “In this highly competitive market, IBM’s work requires flexibility to continuously shift to high-value skills, and the decisions we make on our employees are in the long-term interest of the company’s business,” Edward Barbini, IBM’s vice president of corporate public relations, said in a statement. “
IBM’s job cuts will affect thousands of employees, according tomedia reports, but the company declined to comment. By the end of 2019, IBM had more than 350,000 full-time employees. In the face of the new corona virus pandemic, IBM will provide health insurance subsidies to affected U.S. employees by June 2021.
IBM said the job cuts had been in the works for some time. In its earnings conference call for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019 and the first quarter of fiscal 2020, IBM said it may take additional structural action to save costs. IBM has focused its development goals on new growth areas such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI), and has provided retraining and education programs to support its employees in learning skills in these areas.
Mr. Kosner took over as CEO in early April, when IBM faced difficulties in not only dealing with the new corona virus pandemic. IBM’s share price is now roughly the same as it was a decade ago, while the share price of many other technology companies has risen rapidly. As of Friday’s close, IBM had a market capitalisation of about $105.1 billion.