IBM says it's giving employees the opportunity to 'compete for positions'

Reports indicate Big Blue could be letting go thousands of staff, globally.

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IBM CEO Arvind Krishna

IBM has not denied reports that it will be laying off staff, telling ZDNet that employees will have the opportunity to re-join Big Blue where roles are available.

"As part of IBM's regular assessment of how we work, we are simplifying how we operate to position our business for high value growth opportunities and better meet client demand," a spokesperson said. 

"Employees will have the opportunity to re-skill and compete for positions where roles are available."

As of December, IBM boasted having around 352,600 employees.

The Wall Street Journal reported several thousand people could lose their job at IBM.

"IBM's work in a highly competitive marketplace requires flexibility to constantly remix high-value skills, and our workforce decisions are made in the long-term interests of our business," WSJ quotes IBM as saying in a statement late Thursday.

Current CEO Arvind Krishna took reins of the company just last month.

In delivering IBM's financial results, Krishna noted that IBM remains a go-to large enterprise partner in a time of uncertainty, with COVID-19 halting investments in tech.

IBM is reported as saying the job cuts are aimed at making it more agile and not in response to COVID-19 slowing business down.

At the time, Krishna laid out IBM's core pillars: Trust and transparency, strong technology, services, clients first, and growth. He didn't mention job cuts, however.

For the first quarter, IBM's Q1 non-GAAP earnings per share came to $1.84 on revenue of $17.6 billion, down 3.4% year-over-year. 

Revenue from the cloud and cognitive software business -- which includes cloud and data platforms like Red Hat, as well as cognitive applications and transaction processing platforms -- totalled $5.2 billion, up 5%. Growth in cloud and data platforms was up 32%, led by Red Hat. 

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