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After promising Donald Trump jobs will come home, IBM swings axe

'Rebalancing' will make IBM great again. America? That's someone else's problem

By Richard Chirgwin, 25 Jan 2017

IBM's post-election promise to President Donald Trump to bring jobs home appears not to have been entirely accurate, as the company is making redundancies at home and stands accused of shipping jobs to Asia and Europe.

The axe that started swinging in January 2016, in an “aggressive transformation” that in March 2016 saw Big Blue describe as “remixing skills to meet client requirements".

Coincidentally, the company's claim that it had 25,000 open positions precisely matched what Ginny Rometty carried to Capitol Hill in December when she said 6,000 of the company's coming 25,000 hires would be in America.

In September, “resource actions” hit IBM's Business Transformations Organisation, Systems Group, Global Technology Services, Global Business Services, Technology Support Services, and Storage Presales.

IBM's savage “remixing” in 2016 didn't rescue it from unpleasant financias . Revenue for 2016 was down two per cent from 2015 to US$79.9 billion, and net income shrunk a stunning 11 per cent to $11.9 billion.

In the analyst call announcing the results, IBM CFO Martin Schroeter said margins would improve during 2017 due to savings from ongoing “workforce rebalancing”.

According to Bloomberg, several groups representing IBM staff are now calling out Rometty for hypocrisy.

Protect US Workers lawyer Sara Blackwell, representing around 100 ex-IBM staffers, says Rometty is “terminating thousands of IT workers” while presenting herself as a hero.

The ongoing job cuts have also set the Watching IBM Facebook group alight. It, as well as the Bloomberg report, both carry accusations that IBM is culling long-time staff so as to hire less expensive personnel into the same jobs.

Big Blue still employs around 300,000 people worldwide, but doesn't provide breakdown of staff by region.

IBM rival HPE is also moving jobs from the USA, openly admitting a goal to place 60 per cent of its people in "low-wages locations". ®

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