It is estimated that layoffs at IBM already amount to 4,000 people, despite the company reporting strong financial results last week.
It is understood that the computer giant has begun quietly reducing its headcount as part of efforts to manage costs, and that the layoffs have occurred mainly at IBM plants across the US.
There is no evidence yet of any layoffs among IBM’s 3,000-strong workforce in Ireland. In recent months, the company invested in a multimillion euro research collaboration with the Centre for Telecommunications Value-Chain Research (CTVR) in Ireland.
IBM joins other tech giants like Hewlett-Packard (HP), Intel and Microsoft, which have all revealed job cuts as a way of stemming costs.
HP, for example, is laying off 24,000 workers worldwide as it absorbs its acquisition of EDS, and Microsoft is laying off 5,000 workers.
Siliconrepublic.com reported yesterday how HP in Ireland is to implement an eight-day shutdown that will involve enforced leave at its Dublin operations. The company denied any plans of redundancies here.
IBM’s fourth-quarter results last week appeared to offer the global IT market – only recently affected by the recession – some form of respite by revealing a strong performance in an increasingly tough environment.
For the full year 2008, IBM reported record revenues of US$103.6bn – up 5pc on the previous year – and a record pre-tax profit of US$16.7bn, up 18pc year-on-year.
By John Kennedy
Pictured: IBM Corporate Headquarters, Armonk NY