Moving deck chairs around the globe
According to today's Wall Street Journal, IBM is going to do some blood-letting. About 5,000 U.S. employees may get the axe. The company has approximately 400,000 employees globally but, more importantly, the firm continues to expand its ranks in non-U.S. markets. As we reported earlier, the company previously offered some U.S. workers the opportunity to re-locate to lower cost countries. The Industry Standard also weighed in on the matter and provided additional detail on the U.S. headcount and prior 4,600 layoffs already executed this year by IBM in the U.S.
TechMarketView this morning also repeated the 5,000 layoff number but speculated that IBM may acquire 45,000+ more employees via an acquisition of Satyam. TechMarketView was commenting on Internet chatter that suggests IBM is using a law firm to act as its proxy in the Satyam acquisition/bidding process.
There are other bidders involved in the Satyam deal but TPG (a private equity firm) is the one that peaks my interest. Here's a firm that had (until December) the former head of one of Satyam's largest rivals as one of its partners. There's been speculation that Vivek Paul left TPG to pursue the top slot at Satyam but that has also been discounted, too.
Whoever buys Satyam has some interesting conditions to meet. Apparently, the new owner must not disgorge major assets of the company without seeking board approval and they cannot sell their stake for a 3 year lockout period. But more interesting are concerns that the actual customer and employee count at Satyam continue to fall. The TechMarketView posting indicates that actual headcount may now be down to 45,000 persons at Satyam.