IBM to cut jobs for first time under new CEO

SVP and Director at IBM Research Arvind Krishna speaks on stage during the 2016 Wired Business Conference on June 16, 2016 in New York City.

Brian Ach | Getty Images

IBM is cutting an unspecified number of jobs, making it the first workforce reduction under new Chief Executive Officer Arvind Krishna. 

“IBM’s work in a highly competitive marketplace requires flexibility to constantly remix to high-value skills, and our workforce decisions are made in the long-term interests of our business,” Edward Barbini, vice president of corporate communications at IBM, said in a statement. 

The company declined to comment on how many jobs are affected, though The Wall Street Journal reported it will affect several thousand employees. IBM had more than 350,000 full-time employees as of the end of 2019, when it reported its last official employee head count. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the company will be offering subsidized medical coverage to its affected U.S. employees through June 2021.

The job cuts were in the works for a while, the company said. On both its fourth-quarter 2019 and first-quarter 2020 earnings calls, IBM said it could take additional structural actions that could lead to cost savings. IBM also has retraining and education programs for employees to learn skills for new areas the company has targeted for growth, like cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

Krishna took over as chief executive in early April, as the company faced both the pandemic and an ongoing struggle with growth. Its share price is roughly the same as it was a decade ago, though its tech peers have seen rapid growth. 

The company’s market capitalization sat at $105.80 billion as of Thursday’s close.




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