back to article Tech job bloodbath comes to IBM, CFO links layoffs to Kyndryl, Watson Health

IBM is the latest tech company to jump on the layoff bandwagon, with news it would reduce its workforce by around 3,900. The roughly 1.5 percent of IBM's 260,000 person headcount is not nearly as large a cut by number as Microsoft's latest reduction of 10,000, Amazon's 18,000, Salesforce's 8,000, nor Alphabet's 12,000. However …

  1. AMBxx Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Over 50s?

    Does 1.5% correspond to the percentage of over 50s in the IBM workforce?

  2. Suspect1960

    Seems like nonsense.

    IBM's announcement is that these staff reduction and costs are related to the kyndryl and Watson Healthcare spin off. Strange media coverage on this.

  3. Michael Hoffmann Silver badge
    Meh

    How the hell...

    After years and years of "RA", how did IBM even still have enough people to layoff? Are they finally slicing into the Untouchables? Medium management, sales, but of course not executives.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: How the hell...

      They are contracting out the redundancies to India, it's cheaper to make workers redundant there.

    2. Blank Reg

      Re: How the hell...

      IBM will always have people to layoff so long as people continue to age

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: How the hell...

        At some point even IBM reach a Logan's Run scenario where they are having to fire all these expensive crusty 21 year old new graduates

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How the hell...

      This is why this announcement is probably the most surprising. The big cloud companies are doing their first ever layoffs which have largely been driven by over hiring, and are all still way bigger than they were 12 months ago. And they will probably be hiring again later this year. It feels like IBM has been doing this every couple of years for a long long time. There can't be many people left. And the fact they need to take constant course corrections suggests the strategy isn't working.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "IBM is the latest tech company to jump on the layoff bandwagon"

    Jump on it? They designed, built, and are currently driving it!

    They have making people redundant down to a fine art.

    1. Brian 3

      ..and they deeply enjoy to savor the various delicate flavors, such as by-age, by-gender or with-children....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "wage inflation"

    I bet that statement doesn't apply to the C-Suite though, eh?

    Everyone else has to struggle to make ends meet. Or are they bitching because they have to pay market rate for the talent they are trying to employ/retain?

  6. LenG

    How things change

    When I first joined IBM, some decades ago, they still claimed "Respect for the individual" as a core corporate belief. There were still procedures for raising and escalating issues, but the writing was on the wall. All of the corporate ethos evaporated. I eventually took early retirement when their latest rationalisation/improvement of the pension scheme left me in a situation where, had I stayed, I would have had to work several more years just to get back to the pension I was then entitled to.

    Getting out was the best decision I ever made.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why RUST is needed

    That's a new oxymoron, or am I just out of date:

    "client-facing research and development"

    Translation anyone...?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why RUST is needed:

      "client-facing research and development": Marketing types who do some productive work as well? no - that's a silly idea

    2. Uncle Ron

      Re: Why RUST is needed

      IMHO, "client-facing research and development" means stuff they can immediately sell to customers, not the basic research in physics, chemistry, materials science, and more, that IBM has been truly and rightfully famous for in the past. Again, IMHO, you don't win Nobel prizes for "client-facing research and development." Arvind is cutting everything he possibly can. He is a true penny-pincher. It will show in the reputation, respect, credibility, and results--and already is.

  8. Korev Silver badge
  9. trindflo Bronze badge
    Flame

    How about linking layoffs to hedge funds indulging in class warfare?

    Interesting letters have been sent from TCI to Alphabet and Microsoft calling for these layoffs.

    PDF of Alphabet letter from TCI's own website

    I read it that techies are making too much money and need to be put back in their places, but I'll freely admit a bias as a member of the targeted group.

    Discussion on ycombinator: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=34501085

    excerpt from user abeppu:

    "I dunno that the Google vs Microsoft comparison _is_ compelling. Isn't the question not "how much do the employees cost" but "are they worth what they cost"? This is not my area, but it seems like measuring _profit_ per employee gets a crude measurement of whether in aggregate those employees are generating more value than their comp.

    Grabbing stale numbers from yahoo finance,

    MSFT: 221,000 employees, Net Income to common $69.79B => $3,157,918.55 / person

    GOOG: 186,779 employees, Net Income to common $66.99B => $3,586,591.64 / person"

    Article on m6n.io linking to similar letter to Microsoft: m6n.io

    1. Mayday
      Flame

      Re: How about linking layoffs to hedge funds indulging in class warfare?

      “ Interesting letters have been sent from TCI to Alphabet and Microsoft calling for these layoffs.

      PDF of Alphabet letter from TCI's own website”

      How to say “I am the worlds biggest cunt” without actually saying “I am the worlds biggest cunt”

  10. ecofeco Silver badge

    Meh

    These zaibatsu are NOT the entire tech industry.

    Not knocking the reporting, just reminding everyone that there are millions of other not so high profile or glamorous tech jobs that make the world go 'round.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Meh

      Also this:

      The canary in the coal mine was reduced advertising spend and revenue. Many tech companies are funded through advertising. So, for as long as that income stream was healthy (which was especially the case in the years leading up to COVID), so was expenditure on staffing. As advertising revenue decreased last year – in part due to fears over a global recession triggered by the pandemic – it was inevitable layoffs would follow.

      From https://www.business-standard.com/article/international/why-big-tech-is-firing-employees-by-the-thousands-should-we-be-worried-123012600601_1.html

  11. Uncle Ron

    Cut, Cut, Cut

    IMHO, "client-facing research and development" means stuff they can immediately sell to customers, not the basic research in physics, chemistry, materials science, and more, that IBM has been truly and rightfully famous for in the past. Again, IMHO, you don't win Nobel prizes for "client-facing research and development." Arvind is cutting everything he possibly can. He is a true penny-pincher. It will show in IBM's reputation, respect, credibility, and results--and already has.

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