IBM Begins Firings at North Carolina Site

Paul Ausick

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) has confirmed that the company is laying off a “relatively small” number of people at its Research Triangle Park location in Durham, North Carolina. The company also said that affected employees are being offered jobs in other parts of the company.

According to a report at Wral TechWire, an IBM spokesman said, “This is a relatively small action as IBM continues to remix skills to meet emerging client requirements in areas such as Cloud and Cognitive.”

That’s not the way some employees who have been let go see it. On a Facebook page called Watching IBM, comments from some fired workers are pointed:

Please post anonymously. I keep seeing IBM is saying they are refocusing their resources skills in areas like cloud, Watson etc which is a lot of bull. When I got my package, I believed in my manager who says I could try to find another job in another part of the company so I talked to the Watson group, got involved in a couple of POCs, worked on Watson RFPs and got myself trained in Watson and the hiring manager got a hiring ticket to hire me, but HR said no, I had to go. The truth is, they picked people by age and years with IBM, in my case, 56 and 32 years. All these bull shit about refocusing skills is a bunch of lies.

Here’s another:

From Anon: Well after 43 years, 6 months and 13 days my time at IBM will come to an end! I was just informed that my position was eliminated and I will be part of the current resource action with my last day being June 28th, 2017. At 64 years of age, it was a good run but I was hoping the executives could hold off for another year or even two. I was contacted by my manager via instant messaging to call him at 09:00 today, and he said others in the organization are impacted as well. My last few PBC’s (appraisals) were 2’s with a few 2+’s thrown into the mix prior to that. It’s not like I didn’t know this was coming as the writing has been on the wall for over a decade. It’s such a shame to see how far a great company has fallen!

The IBM spokesman said that “many” of the affected employees are being offered jobs from among the 5,000 open listings the company currently has in the United States.

The company has not supplied a number of how many workers are being let go, but a U.K. news site, The Register, cites a tipster: “Today’s the day, and it’s a very big cut, at least in tech sales.” The cuts are expected to hit technical sales and software technical sales hardest.

According to one report, several positions have hiring requisitions ready to go for mid-April. However, the requisitions prohibit hiring anyone back into IBM anywhere for five years.

IBM’s stock traded up about 0.2% in Friday’s premarket, at $174.14 in a 52-week range of $142.50 to $182.79. The consensus 12-month price target is $170.68.