"No plans for mass layoffs" in IBM Asia consulting

IBM Asia Pacific has "no plans for mass layoffs" in its consulting business, following its parent company's decision to shed jobs in the division worldwide.

SINGAPORE--IBM Asia Pacific has "no plans for mass layoffs" in its consulting business, despite its parent company's decision to shed jobs in the division worldwide.

As reported earlier, IBM had notified more than 1,000 workers in its consulting and services business that their jobs are being eliminated as part of an effort to make sure worker skills match customer needs.

However, "within Asia-Pacific (including Japan), we have no plans for mass layoffs", IBM global services (Asean/South Asia) spokesperson Au Soo Wei said in an email interview today. However, she did not confirm whether no "mass" layoffs meant zero job cuts.

IBM Global Services is said to comprise consulting, strategic outsourcing and integrated technology services.

The division currently has 21,500 workers in the region, said Au. She was not able to provide a country-by-country breakdown, saying only that there are 150,000 employees worldwide for its global services, a third of whom are in consulting.

(Interestingly perhaps, IBM Global Services Australia cut 64 jobs from its data-processing units in Sydney and Melbourne in April, leading to a four-day strike by 150 workers.)

Au noted, however, that the latest US announcement was a normal part if its business process to "re-deploy people around the business as demand requires" and that it is "not a sign of our business slowing down".

"IBM Global Services is actually growing--we will end the year with more people than at the start of the year," she added, without revealing specifics.

According to her, IBM's global services revenues in Asia Pacific (including Japan) grew more than 30 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2001. Meanwhile, global services contributed about US$33 billion, or 37 percent, of IBM's global revenues of US$88.8 billion last year.

IBM shares last traded at US$114.35, up US$1.35.

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