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 ZDNet.com.au 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
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
"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.