IBM is hitting back at reports that it’s planning to stage its biggest ever layoffs, with 110,000 supposedly being made redundant as part of sweeping reorganization plans. But the real news still isn’t fantastic: IBM instead says it’s planning to lay off “several thousand” people.
“IBM does not comment on rumours, even ridiculous or baseless ones,” IBM said in an email to Reuters. “If anyone had checked information readily available from our public earnings statements, or had simply asked us, they would know that IBM has already announced the company has just taken a $600-million charge for workforce rebalancing. This equates to several thousand people, a small fraction of what’s been reported.”
Forbes journalist Robert X. Cringely first reported the layoffs, which are apparently part of a major company reorganization under the moniker Project Chrome. Cringely suggested they will mostly be in the U.S.-based mainframe and storage divisions.
The fact that IBM would be making layoffs was noted last week when IBM reported its 2014 earnings and gave guidance for the coming year. At that point CFO Martin Schroeter confirmed that there would be cuts for 2015—but said these would smaller than the roughly 13,000 people who were handed a pink slip in 2014.
IBM’s biggest ever round of layoffs took place in 1993 when Big Blue dispensed with 60,000 people, in what remains a record number of corporate redundancies.