IBM workers in Research Triangle Park and elsewhere are bracing for another round of major job cuts.
The technology giants chief financial officer, Martin Schroeter, told analysts during a conference call Tuesday that the company expects to take an approximately $1 billion workforce rebalancing charge in the first quarter.
Thats how much the company allocated for last years job-cutting effort, which led to an estimated more than 3,000 workers across North America losing their jobs, according to Alliance@IBM, a union that has been trying to organize the companys workers for years. That number couldnt be confirmed as IBM has long declined to provide details about job cuts.
The planned layoffs come in the wake of seven consecutive quarters of declining revenue at IBM. The companys fourth-quarter revenue of $27.7 billion, announced Tuesday, also fell below what analysts were expecting.
The company is looking to sell lower-margin businesses, and top executives are forgoing annual bonuses.
Lee Conrad, national coordinator for Alliance@IBM, estimates that the companys Triangle workforce has dwindled from 11,000 in 2006 to between 7,200 and 7,600 today. That estimate doesnt include contractors, a sizable contingent of the workforce for many employers, or foreign IBM workers who are here working on projects.
Alliance estimates that IBMs U.S. workforce has fallen from 127,000 in 2006 to 88,150 last year. Alliance bases its estimates on notices received by dismissed IBM workers that disclose the impact of job cuts in their particular units.
Alliance reports on its website that it has learned that some employees earmarked to be laid off are in the Systems and Technology Group, which has a significant presence in RTP. The names of those employees are supposed to be submitted to IBM executive management at the end of this week, according to Alliance.
IBM shares closed Wednesday at $182.25, down $6.18. The stock is down 7 percent over the past year.
Staff writer David Ranii