IBM laying off 2,600 Asia-Pac workers?

IBM laying off 2,600 Asia-Pac workers?

Summary: The Australian IT has reported that IBM plans to cut 2,600 jobs across its Asia-Pacific operations, with Big Blue saying only that there is a "reorganisation" under way.

TOPICS: IBM, IT Employment

update The Australian IT has reported that IBM plans to cut 2,600 jobs across its Asia-Pacific operations, with Big Blue saying only that there is a "reorganisation" under way.

According to The Australian IT, Japan would be hardest hit by the planned cuts, with 1,000 set to go there followed by 1,600 elsewhere across the region.

It was not clear earlier today whether Australian IBM staff would be affected by the reported cull, however IBM has now said that Australian staff under its Asia Pacific arm would be exposed to an "internal reorganisation" that was not expected to result in local redundancies.

"IBM Asia Pacific is conducting an internal reorganisation to move highly skilled employees out of our regional headquarters and back into the countries to be closer to our clients," an IBM spokesperson told by email.

"We do not expect any redundancies to be associated with this program in Australia, and we do not comment on the details of internal reorganisations."

IBM also clarified its position on the cutbacks affecting Japan, which it said were part of its Career Choice Retirement Plan — a financial package aimed at facilitating early retirement.

"IBM Japan is conducting a voluntary retirement scheme, which was publicly announced some time ago. The Career Choice Retirement Plan is a financial assistance program for employees who voluntarily retire at the age of 55. Since this is a voluntary retirement scheme, IBM Japan cannot predict how many employees will be involved," the IBM spokesperson said.

IBM has insisted that within Australia it would "continue to hire as needed to support market demand".

The report follows an announcement earlier today that Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson would cut 300 local positions, despite healthy profits over the past few years from its Australian operations.

Competitor EDS has also announced plans to lay off several hundred staff as part of its merger with Hewlett-Packard.

Topics: IBM, IT Employment

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • Australian Lay-offs

    The quotes and the announcement have been carefully constructed so that IBM Australia did not have to disclose what they have already done.

    IBM removed a lot of contractors and full time staff in Canberra. I think this was related to the Projects with Department of Immigration where IBM tried to squeeze as much money as they could out this govt department (and was their largest project in the country and had a lot of full-time staff on this to maximise their revenue. When spending cuts were made in govt. the projects began to slow down and by August this year IBM had a lot of people on the Bench in Canberra and then made them all redundant in the first week. Full-time employment provides no job security within IBM GBS as these fulltime employees are just the silly people that pass the increased risk margin of being a contractor straight to IBM where their is absolutely no loyalty to their staff over profitability.

    The same scenario in IBM GBS is also happening in both Melbourne and Sydney and I believe that there would be fulltime employee redundancies in the hundred by now.