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IBM in US jobs cull

8,000 to go this quarter - WSJ

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IBM US will offload as many as 8,000 people, or around 2.5 per cent of its workforce, during the current quarter.

Citing unnamed sources, The Wall Street Journal reports the planned redundancies exclude the transfer of an estimated 17,000 workers to a hard-disc drive joint venture with Hitachi. Talks on the form of this joint venture remain ongoing.

IBM declined to comment on reports that as many as one in ten of its 160,000 US employees could receive pink slips.

Earlier this month, The Register exclusively reported that IBM wants to shed 1,000 workers in the UK. IBM has asked for volunteers to accept voluntary redundancies offering a less than generous package worth two weeks salary per year of service.

This programme may lead to compulsory redundancies if too few workers accept the offer, Reg readers within IBM tell us.

Last month, IBM surprised the market with a profit warning which suggested sales for its first Q1 2002 would be between $18.4bn and $18.6bn, about 6 per cent less than it had led analysts to expect, and 12 per cent lower than in the same period a year ago. It said profit would be hit even harder, with pre-tax income down to between $1.65bn to $1.75bn from $2.49bn a year ago. ®

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