IBM Starts Undisclosed Number of Job Cuts Among U.S. Workers

IBM has started to cut some jobs in the U.S., part of what it says is a strategy to shift the workforce more toward cloud computing and artificial intelligence operations.

The company currently has more than 25,000 open positions, and the “workforce rebalancing” is part of a continued push to add staff with cloud- and cognitive-related skills, IBM said, declining to disclose specific numbers for the cuts. International Business Machines Corp. reduced its workforce by less than 1 percent overall in 2015, ending the year with 377,757 employees.

Technology service providers in recent years have sought to stay competitive through expense cuts achieved by moving many jobs to lower-cost countries, a process known as offshoring. IBM increased its mix of offshore workers by 6 percentage points over the past two years, according to a presentation from its investor day last week. 

“IBM is aggressively transforming its business to lead in a new era of cognitive and cloud computing,” the company said Wednesday in a statement. “This includes remixing skills to meet client requirements.”

Since 2006, Armonk, New York-based IBM has cut 90,000 to 100,000 workers, according to estimates from Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

IEEE Spectrum, a science and engineering industry publication, earlier reported on its website that IBM could be laying off a third of its U.S. workforce, citing affected employees. IBM said that report is untrue.

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