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IBM gets ready to push more UK and Irish bods overboard

Big Blue set to become Somewhat Smaller Blue

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Exclusive IBM has started a 45-day consultation on letting up to 270 people go from its UK and Ireland operations.

Sources have told The Register that Big Blue is once more readying the axe for employees in Blighty, adding to rounds of layoffs that have seen over 6,000 workers sacked globally since 2009.

An IBM spokesperson confirmed that the firm was looking into redundancies.

"IBM has begun a consultation process in part of its UK business. Given the competitive nature of our business, we do not publicly discuss the details of staffing plans," they said by email.

The sources say that IBM's eye is on its software division and its Systems Technology Group (STG) as potential areas from which to lose staff.

Big Blue's CFO Mark Loughridge told analysts during an earnings call on the first quarter of this year that revenues in the STG fell 17 per cent to $3.11bn and the group posted a loss of $405m.

"There are parts of our business that are in transition or have been under-performing like elements of our Power X and storage product lines that showed disappointing performance in the first quarter. Here we’re going to take substantial actions," he said at the time.

"Given our first quarter performance," Loughridge said during the earnings call, "we now expect to take the bulk of our workforce rebalancing actions for the year in the second quarter, as opposed to last year when it was distributed across the quarters."

In response to analysts' questions, he said that the firm expected "workforce rebalancing" charges to be closer to $1bn this year, compared to $800m last year and that the "bulk of the charge would be outside the US". ®

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