Menu
IBM workforce declined 12 per cent in 2014; losses tied to corporate divestitures

IBM workforce declined 12 per cent in 2014; losses tied to corporate divestitures

IBM's global workforce declined 12 per cent last year, with most of the decrease due to corporate divestitures.

IBM's global workforce declined 1212 per cent last year, with most of the decrease due to corporate divestitures.

IBM is reporting its global headcount at 379,592, a decrease of 51,600 employees from the prior year. The data is included in the company's recently filed annual report for 2014. In 2013, IBM employed 431,212 globally.

Of this overall reduction, divestitures accounted for 35,000 employees.

IBM last year sold its x86 server business to Lenovo for $2.1 billion, and its microelectronics manufacturing unit to GlobalFoundries for $1.5 billion. There were other divestures as well.

As it made these cuts, IBM said it hired 45,000 people last year, "and the company currently has about 15,000 job openings around the world for new skills in growth areas such as Cloud, analytics, security, and social and mobile technologies," said Clint Roswell, a company spokesman.

The company continues to point out that the hiring is evidence of an ongoing effort to "remix its skills" to adjust to marketplace changes. This ongoing remixing also means that as IBM hires, it also cuts workers on a routine basis.

IBM says it is shifting to "higher value segments of enterprise IT," and this has meant jettisoning those areas of the business that aren't producing high margins, such as the x86 server business, according to Charles King, an analyst at Punt-IT.

Its most recent divestitures are similar to previous ones, such as the 2005 sale of its PC business to Lenovo or the hard disk drive unit to Hitachi. It's not alone in this strategy. Hewlett-Packard did something similar last year when it announce plans to separate its PC and printer operations from its enterprise business, said King.

IBM "is placing a lot of bets on businesses it believes will deliver higher margins," said King, including analytics, cloud, social and security. But most of those markets, with the exception of analytics, are areas "where there is a great deal of promise that hasn't been entirely proved out yet."

It's hard to know how IBM's corporate direction is affecting its role as a major employer in the U.S. Similar to many of its corporate peers, IBM does not providing a breakout about its employment trends in the U.S.

Lee Conrad, the national coordinator for the Alliance at IBM, a Communications Workers of America local, estimates that there are approximately 77,000 U.S. IBM employees. In 2006, IBM employed about 127,000 in the U.S. It reported its U.S. workforce until about 2010.

"The Alliance has been tracking the downward trend of IBM employment in the U.S. for some time, from the selling off of business units, to forcing out employees through job cuts and offshoring," said Conrad. He said many jobs have been shifted to India and the Philippines.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags IT careerscareersIT managementIBMLenovoglobalfoundries

Featured

Slideshows

Leading female front runners of the Kiwi ICT industry honoured at 2019 WIICTA

Leading female front runners of the Kiwi ICT industry honoured at 2019 WIICTA

Reseller News has honoured the leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry at the 2019 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) in Auckland. The awards recognised standout individuals across six categories, spanning Entrepreneur, Rising Star, Shining Star, Community, Technical and Achievement. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Leading female front runners of the Kiwi ICT industry honoured at 2019 WIICTA
Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch

Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch

The 2019 Reseller News Innovation Awards has kicked off with the Judges Lunch in Auckland with 70 judges in the voting panel. The awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors. Photos by Christine Wong.

Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch
Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2018 inductees - Chris Simpson, Kendra Ross and Phill Patton - to the third running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing landscape of the technology industry in New Zealand, while outlining ways to attract a new breed of players to the ecosystem. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments