Friday, 06 February 2015 13:47

IBM’s massive job cuts start - 400 in Australia to go Featured


Predictions of a bloodbath at IBM, heatedly denied by the company, appear to be true. Up to 100,000 of the company’s staff, nearly one quarter of the total global workforce, is facing the axe.

400 of them will be in Australia, according to local insiders iTWire has spoken to. Big Blue is not so big anymore (but there’s plenty of blues).

The firing, sorry, ‘restructuring’, strategy is called Project Chrome, as if it is something bright and shiny. It’s not. It’s dirty and underhand, clouded in corporate doublespeak like ‘workforce rebalancing’ and ‘resource actions’.

iTWire first broke the news last week, based largely on the work of noted IBM watcher and industry analyst, Robert X Cringely, who has a habit of getting it right. Read his analysis here (and his eBook on the decline and fall of IBM as to why IBM has got into this state).

There is no official word from IBM, but read this article in the respected IEEE magazine.

“Project Chrome, a massive layoff that IBM is pretending is not a massive layoff, is underway. At more than 100,000 people, it is projected to be the largest mass layoff by any US corporation in at least 20 years.

Alliance@IBM, the IBM employees' union, says it has so far collected reports of 5000 jobs eliminated, but those are just numbers of those getting official layoff notices. According to anecdotal reports, IBM appears to be abusing the performance appraisal system to cut additional employees without officially laying them off.”

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire. He is one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’

He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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