Big Blue bloodbath: More IBM staff slashed in Europe, US

Tech giant to lose 900 staff in Germany


IBM's ongoing “remix” of its staff has bitten again, with fresh layoffs announced in the US and Europe.

The Watching IBM Facebook group says the company is going to cut 17 per cent of its US sales force to “make room in July for new open source positions”, in what it says is code-named “Project Solitaire”.

In Europe, the group claims 225 staff will go in Sweden, 160 in Denmark and 900 in Germany.

The Berlin Morning Post backs up Watching IBM, citing trade union Verdi as saying it's been in negotiations with IBM over the layoffs, which would be the first forced redundancies IBM's made in that country.

The redundancies will hit IBM Germany's Global Business Solutions, Management and Business Support, and Business and Technology Services. Watching IBM says the staff will be let go in a “socially acceptable way” within the next 12 months.

That's in a stark contrast to the home market, where staff have complained that severance has been slashed to a single month.

IBM Germany ran with a now-familiar line, that it will continue hiring staff with “key skills”, something it told The Register in early March while discussing the pink slips it's handing out in America.

IBM is working hard to respond to declining revenues in its traditional business: Q4 2015 revenue of US$22.1 billion was down 9 per cent on Q4 2014, and full-year 2015 revenue of $81.7 billion was down 12 per cent on 2014.

As its core business evaporates, Big Blue's been keen to point to growth in analytics ($17.9 billion in 2015, up 16 per cent on 2014) and cloud ($10 billion in 2015, up 57 per cent on 2014).

But that comes at the cost of people associated with the “old IBM”, with storage hardware looking particularly bleak. ®

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