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IBM schtum on European jobs threat

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IBM is contemplating an overhaul of its worldwide business operations but has refused to comment on reports that it is planning to close several of its European services sites.

German magazine Wirtschaftswoche has reported that the company is looking to overhaul its European services operations, a move that could put up to 2,500 jobs at risk, including that of head of the European business, and the work would be moved to Hungary and the Czech Republic.

IBM today said that it is looking at "changes in the way we [IBM] operate" in order to meet the needs of its clients, but refused to comment directly on the reports. Instead it issued a statement, saying that it is "re-examining our operations and organizational structure in countries around the world".

"As we decide how we will move forward, we will interact with employees and employee representatives as required to discuss the proposals we are considering," the statement continues.

Meanwhile, Wirtschaftswoche, which does not cite any sources, also says that work currently hosted in Paris is to be split between London and Zurich. The London office would be responsible for northern Europe, while Zurich would head up IBM's southern European operations.

"We have made no final decisions, thus we have nothing to announce," IBM concludes. ®

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