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Now IBM Watson Health, sorry, Merative decimates staff

And jobs shift offshore, says source

Merative, known until last year as IBM Watson Health, is laying off an estimated 10 percent of its staff, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Our source tells us about 200 people among a staff of roughly 2,000 stand to lose their jobs.

A spokesperson for Merative declined to comment, stating in an email, "Merative does not discuss rumors. We are focused on investing in our six core product lines and aligning our organization with our strategic plan for long-term growth."

We note that's not a denial of what we've been told.

The Register also asked the company to confirm its headcount, which we believe was about 2,000 as of last August but may have changed in the interim. We understand a significant number of workers at the company presently may be contractors and that there have been voluntary departures.

However, Merative representatives, in addition to not commenting on what they characterize as rumors, chose not to address queries about staffing facts.

An unconfirmed report on claims the job cuts are more like 12.5 percent from a staff of 1,200, amounting to about 150 people.

Our source reported being part of a team of three people let go, all of whom were over the age of 40. Those laid off got three months severance, we're told. "I got a call from my manager who read a script letting me know my role was eliminated and that was about it!" our source said.

Asked whether management had provided a rationale for shedding employees, our source responded, "Just that this was part of their three year plan. The work we did is staying, we have had to train others to do it – but we apparently couldn’t stay."

We're told those being trained were "off-shore people." Merative's former owner, IBM, is known for shifting roles offshore, where labor costs are less.

As we reported in August last year, the Watson Health to Merative handover also involved layoffs.

Merative was acquired by venture capital firm Francisco Partners in last January January. The terms of the deal were not disclosed at the time but a subsequent financial filing indicated a price of about $1 billion, which ultimately earned IBM just $230 million in pre-tax profits. Big Blue had put about $4 billion into the company since 2015.

So far this year, almost 400 technology companies have laid off nearly 109,000 employees, according to ®

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