The dark satanic rumour mill manufactured a hell on earth rumour which tipped up in Forbes magazine. If the rumour was right, 112,000 employees could be laid off.
IBM admitted that it is cutting jobs, and said as much in its latest earnings report last week, but those reductions will affect “several thousand” employees, a “small fraction” of what Forbes reported.
The technology giant has been steadily reshaping its 400,000-plus staff for several years, laying off workers in some areas and hiring in new growth businesses.
The source of the rumour was pseudonymous Silicon Valley technology gossip columnist Robert Cringely who claimed that Biggish Blue was going to break with that gradual approach and suddenly lay off 26 percent of its global workforce.
IBM did not issue a formal denial of the report, but strongly suggested it was inaccurate.
A spokesperson said that if anyone had checked the information in IBM’s public earnings statements, or had simply asked it, she or he would know that IBM has already announced the company has just taken a $600 million charge for workforce rebalancing. This equates to several thousand people.
Last week, Chief Financial Officer Martin Schroeter told investors on IBM’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call that the company was taking restructuring charges of around $580 million, but he did not specify the number of jobs affected.
But Schroeter said in the same meeting that IBM was not going to replicate the same level of restructuring that we had last year… “It will be a lower amount.”
All this seems to suggest that IBM will fire about 8,000 people this year, in line with recent years.