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IBM Confirms Layoffs Amid Hiring

IBM cuts workers even as it hires for cloud computing and Watson initiatives.

IBM's Watson Group expects to hire more than 1,000 new employees.
IBM's Watson Group expects to hire more than 1,000 new employees.

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D. Henschen
D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
2/28/2014 | 9:50:50 AM
Dark paranoia
I know many men and women who have had careers at IBM for decades and I see no sign of dumping employees every ten years and hiring college graduates. That's nonsence. What's more, Alliance@IBM has reported that the layoffs had hit IBM offices in India as hard or harder than anywhere else.

The question in rebalancing is skills needed vs. skills available? If you're building Power servers, you're not exactly in a position to jump over an start helping IBM build out a new Softlayer data center or write code for Watson applications. They have to find new talent for that.
User Rank: Ninja
2/27/2014 | 11:01:11 PM
Re: It's the economy, stupid
Why retrain someone when they can hire someone just out of college for a lot less money? Then they can drain the the life out of the new recruit for 5 or 10 years, lay him off, and hire the the next new grad - all the while claiming there aren't enough qualified Americans, and bringing in non-citizens on work visas. It's the nature of a science or engineering career.
User Rank: Apprentice
2/27/2014 | 9:16:45 PM
Elephants in the room
These jobs aren't gone. They have been moved to IBM India. IBM is just another big sociopathic Tech company who chose short term gains over long term growth. As a result they are heading toward the tar pits.
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
2/27/2014 | 3:45:59 PM
Re: It's the economy, stupid
The thing that's unclear is the extent to which companies try to place workers slated to be laid off in open positions. I hope IBM made that effort.
D. Henschen
IW Pick
D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
2/27/2014 | 1:32:13 PM
It's the economy, stupid
The world is a great big hiring and firing machine. This stuff happens every year and every day. Unfortunate that it's turbulent in people's lives, but companies can't keep making widgets if nobody's buying. Gotta switch to sprockets. Economics 101. This is just the first wave. I'm sure more headlines will follow.

My late father was an executive with Bethlehem Steel before he retired. That company has long since gone out of business and the old mill was converted into a casino and shopping mall. By contrast, I'd say IBM has steered its business pretty well over its 100-plus-year history.
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