IBM plans to axe staff in UK, Ireland despite hefty profits

Big Blue bottom line means 'workforce remix'


Exclusive IBM is planning a round of redundancies in the UK and Ireland despite healthy growth in profits in the second quarter.

In company documents seen by The Register, employees in the UK-based Strategic Outsourcing Delivery division were told Big Blue will start an employee consultation period of 30 days on 2 August. El Reg understands workers have been told of the planned changes.

Staff aside from those in the outsourcing delivery unit may also be facing cuts, including employees from the Software Group in the UK and Ireland.

IBM is doing well considering the global economic conditions - but bosses appear to desire increased productivity and improved profit margins. In order to achieve these, IBM told its people that redundancies were likely to be a part of the consultation.

Big Blue has had a few rounds of layoffs recently, including 5,000 in 2009 across the US, and 1,200 globally in February this year.

The tech giant has continued to make good profits throughout the economic doom and gloom, but its roadmap demands that the company hits at least $20 earnings per share by 2015. IBMers have complained that the target is being achieved by killing raises or laying off staff.

A short consultation period of 30 days indicates a relatively small number of redundancies, as much as 100 heads. However, it's unclear how many departments will hold consultations and if they are all the same length of time.

During IBM's conference call for its second quarter results, chief financial officer Mark Loughridge said that the firm would be hiring 200 to 300 sales reps for its global software business every month until the end of this year, without saying where the hires would be made.

Asked for comment on the looming redundancies, Big Blue representatives told The Reg in an emailed statement:

"Change is constant in our industry and transformation is a permanent feature of our business model. Consequently, some level of workforce remix is an ongoing part of our business. Given the competitive nature of our business, we do not publicly discuss the details of our staffing plans." ®

Similar topics

Broader topics

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • SEC probes Musk for not properly disclosing Twitter stake
    Meanwhile, social network's board rejects resignation of one its directors

    America's financial watchdog is investigating whether Elon Musk adequately disclosed his purchase of Twitter shares last month, just as his bid to take over the social media company hangs in the balance. 

    A letter [PDF] from the SEC addressed to the tech billionaire said he "[did] not appear" to have filed the proper form detailing his 9.2 percent stake in Twitter "required 10 days from the date of acquisition," and asked him to provide more information. Musk's shares made him one of Twitter's largest shareholders. The letter is dated April 4, and was shared this week by the regulator.

    Musk quickly moved to try and buy the whole company outright in a deal initially worth over $44 billion. Musk sold a chunk of his shares in Tesla worth $8.4 billion and bagged another $7.14 billion from investors to help finance the $21 billion he promised to put forward for the deal. The remaining $25.5 billion bill was secured via debt financing by Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Barclays, and others. But the takeover is not going smoothly.

    Continue reading
  • Cloud security unicorn cuts 20% of staff after raising $1.3b
    Time to play blame bingo: Markets? Profits? Too much growth? Russia? Space aliens?

    Cloud security company Lacework has laid off 20 percent of its employees, just months after two record-breaking funding rounds pushed its valuation to $8.3 billion.

    A spokesperson wouldn't confirm the total number of employees affected, though told The Register that the "widely speculated number on Twitter is a significant overestimate."

    The company, as of March, counted more than 1,000 employees, which would push the jobs lost above 200. And the widely reported number on Twitter is about 300 employees. The biz, based in Silicon Valley, was founded in 2015.

    Continue reading
  • Talos names eight deadly sins in widely used industrial software
    Entire swaths of gear relies on vulnerability-laden Open Automation Software (OAS)

    A researcher at Cisco's Talos threat intelligence team found eight vulnerabilities in the Open Automation Software (OAS) platform that, if exploited, could enable a bad actor to access a device and run code on a targeted system.

    The OAS platform is widely used by a range of industrial enterprises, essentially facilitating the transfer of data within an IT environment between hardware and software and playing a central role in organizations' industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) efforts. It touches a range of devices, including PLCs and OPCs and IoT devices, as well as custom applications and APIs, databases and edge systems.

    Companies like Volvo, General Dynamics, JBT Aerotech and wind-turbine maker AES are among the users of the OAS platform.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022