Deathwatch: Are IBM going west?

26 January 2015

ibm IBM are looking ropey at the minute as reports suggest they're planning to get rid of 111,800 of their staff. That's over a quarter (26%) of their current workforce.

This is all part of IBM's reorganisation, which has been given the codenam of Project Chrome, and will see most of the company's American staff being given the sack. To turn things around, IBM are pinning their hopes on cloud computing, rather than hardware for which they've been famous for.

Robert X Cringely wrote for Forbes: "To fix its business problems and speed up its 'transformation', next week about 26% of IBM's employees will be getting phone calls from their managers. A few hours later a package will appear on their doorsteps with all the paperwork."

This is big news, seeing as IBM has been running since 1911, taking the name International Business Machines in 1924.

Cringely continued: "This is a bit short-sighted and typical for IBM. They just announced the new Z13 mainframe and hope it will stimulate sales. Yet they will be cutting the very teams needed to help move customers from their old systems to the new Z13."

"The storage cuts are likely to be short-sighted, too. Most cloud services use different storage technology than customers use in their data centres. This makes data replication and synchronization difficult. IBM’s cloud business needs to find a way to efficiently work well with storage systems found in customer data centres. Whacking the storage teams won’t help with this problem."

The company are still making a load of money, so saying Deathwatch is rather premature, but losing a quarter of your entire workforce is a big deal indeed. One to keep an eye on.

TOPICS:   Technology   High Street News


  • chippy
    As Cringely said, "...and typical for IBM" They regularly cut their staff right down and then bring on contractors as needed. Then when the numbers are known, hire permanent staff. *then* they get round to sacking them all, bringing in contractors..... It's their SOP to trim the fat (by throwing away the carcass!) so wouldn't assume anything by it.
  • Breadman
    Am I the only person who thinks naming a corporate project after a competitor's product is a bit dumb?
  • jim
    breadman - IBM dont make a browser
  • Paul
    Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles? Going West? Deathwatch? Is this happening now? Tuck and Roll, Everybody! Tuck and Roll.
  • Han S.
    @Jim Have you forgotten about the magnificent IBM Web Browser (part of OS2/Warp) already?
  • jim
    @Han Solo - yeah i remember OS2 - but cant remember what browser. netscape navigator?? lol apologies

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