Tag Archives: layoffs

  • IBM Layoff Rumors Fly Fast and Furious


    Rumors are flying fast and furious that IBM will lay off more than 100,000 workers sometime in the next few weeks. But news sources are reporting that the cuts will more likely be on the level of 10,000 jobs.

    The original report of mega-layoffs came from Robert X. Cringely, a self-described “Silicon Valley iconoclast,” who wrote in Forbes about an IBM reorganization codenamed Project Chrome. In Cringely’s telling, Project Chrome will result in the layoffs of 26 percent of IBM’s workforce, accompanied by a major restructuring of the company’s assets. The employee cuts will supposedly hit IBM’s mainframe and storage divisions the hardest. (Cringely’s reporting derives from anonymous sources.)

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    “In saying the company is in a transition and is going to go through the biggest reorganization in its history, will this really fix a very obvious customer relationship problem?” Cringely concluded. “No, it won’t.”

    IBM told Cringely, in an update to his original article, that the cuts would come to only a few thousand people, not 100,000.

    Separately, an unnamed IBM spokesperson told TechCrunch that the layoffs would roughly total 12,000 employees—even as an anonymous source suggested the number would be much higher. “After we published this article, a source approached TechCrunch, telling us the layoff number was 10 percent of the workforce (or 43,000),” the publication reported, “and that the layoffs would be conducted in approximately 10,000 employee increments per quarter until the company righted the ship.”

    Whether or not any of these reports prove accurate, it’s undeniable that IBM is frantically attempting to transform into a firm that can better compete in a cloud- and mobile-centric world. Between its recent partnership with Apple to push iOS devices and apps to the enterprise, to its work in artificial intelligence, Big Blue clearly wants to push beyond Oracle and other business IT rivals. But what is the human cost of that reinvention?

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  • 4 Tips for Surviving a Rapid Firing

    shutterstock_Jorge Salcedo

    You’re called in for what you think will be a typical meeting, only to be told, “We’re downsizing” or “You’re fired.”

    How should you react?

    The first step is to hold it together and not react. While it might be tempting to pull the office equivalent of that Jet Blue flight attendant who decided to quit his job by grabbing a beer and sliding down his plane’s emergency inflatable slide, remaining reserved is the preferable alternative: You don’t need more issues with this particular employer, and it’s important to walk away appearing strong and moving forward.

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    “Being fired versus being downsized are two very different beasts,” said Janine Davis, principal of Fetch Recruiting. “The latter technically is slightly less painful and significantly more forgiven. However, the steps to take when it happens to you are not significantly different.”

    Gather Information

    Davis strongly recommends getting as much information as possible about why you were fired or laid off. There’s no need to be combative when asking; it’s to make sure you know the company’s viewpoint with regard to why you were let go.

    “In the case of a firing,” she said, “if you have any documentation to counter the stated reasons, gather them, e.g., if you were fired for poor attendance, but you have a recent employment review which rates you as ‘exemplary’ for attendance, make sure you have a copy of that review.”

    Collect Letters

    Ask select colleagues to write a supportive email or note. “Secure at least one person who will provide you with a positive reference,” Davis said. “A supervisor is obviously ideal, but if not, another executive, a peer or even a subordinate is better than nothing.”

    Reframe the Narrative

    Update your resume and online profiles as soon as possible. Alert your network that you’re on the market. Most importantly, understand that part of this process includes explaining why you’re no longer at your old job. Brevity and clarity should be the goal. Deliver your story professionally, without emotion or badmouthing your former employer.

    For example, one of Davis’s clients found himself the victim of standard-issue corporate shuffling: “A new manager was brought in over their group. He fired all of his direct reports and brought in people that reported to him at his previous company.” That’s the sort of simple, impersonal explanation that no future employer will challenge.

    Susan Wise Miller, career counselor and vocational expert at California Career Services, had a senior-level client who wasn’t getting along with her work partner and was unceremoniously fired. From the beginning of her time with the company, her employer had excluded her from any important decision-making. Fortunately, her earlier work references gave her the credibility and leverage to explain to future employers that a change in management style had impacted her ability to do her job.

    Process Your Feelings

    Getting over the shock of being let go is an individual process. Some people need to mourn the abrupt loss, while others prefer to jump quickly into the search process.

    For those who need time, grieving for a short period can help you get to a positive place—but keep it short. Whatever your process, Davis said, “The key is to ensure you are ready to tackle the job search with the necessary attitude to succeed.”

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  • What HP Splitting in Two Could Mean for You

    Ken Wolter Shutterstock

    Hewlett-Packard is splitting into two companies, one of which will focus on enterprise technology, while the other continues to sell PCs and printers.

    HP CEO Meg Whitman believes that two smaller companies will prove more innovative and flexible than a lumbering giant composed of many divisions. “We will be in an even better position to compete in the market, support our customers and partners, and deliver maximum value to our shareholders,” she wrote in one of those standard-issue statements that chief executives produce at such moments.

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    For the thousands of people who work at HP—more than 317,000 in 170 countries, as of earlier this year—the decision to cleave the company in two will have massive repercussions. Whitman and her executives will cut another 5,000 jobs, adding to the 55,000 layoffs under her tenure. That’s liable to make more than a few employees nervous. Those whose jobs straddle the enterprise and consumer segments could also face a great deal of uncertainty over coming months, even if they get to keep their positions.

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    For those who still want to work at HP, chances are pretty good that the new, reorganized companies will eventually need people on both the hardware and software side of the equation. At least in the short term, Dice’s advice on scoring a job at HP will probably stand you in good stead. HP has long prided itself on its corporate culture, and the new companies will likely continue to do so—although as the years pass, how those respective cultures evolve remains to be seen.

    The irony of this situation is that HP already made an aborted attempt to divest itself of its PC-manufacturing division—which would have effectively split the company in two—during the brief and unlamented reign of then-CEO Leo Apotheker. He served for a mere ten months before the board of directors, spooked by his rapid decision-making, decided to replace him with Whitman in September 2011.

    At the time, Apotheker’s strategy was dismissed as idiotic; now HP sees it as the way of the future. It’s also questionable whether some out-there HP initiatives, such as “The Machine,” will survive the transition.

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    Image: Ken Wolter/Shutterstock.com

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  • EMC Restructuring Means Job Cuts Here, Hiring There

    Storage giant EMC has announced a restructuring that will involve about 1,000 job cuts , though with simultaneous hiring the company expects to end up with the same headcount as before, or even “slightly more.” EMC had 60,000 employees at the start of the year. The restructuring is “almost a mirror image of what we did last year,” David Goulden, CEO of EMC’s Information Infrastructure business, said during the company’s quarterly earnings call. In May, EMC said it would cut 1,004 positions, including jobs at its VMware subsidiary in Palo Alto, Calif. Jobs were eliminated in its Information Storage, RSA Information Security and Information Intelligence Group divisions. However, the company said it ended 2013 with a net increase of 2,000 jobs as a result of the shifts in its business. That may be an indication of where new hiring will take place this time around. Fourth-quarter earnings beat analyst estimates and executives stressed the company’s on track with its cloud and Big Data operations — which it spun off last year as a unit called Pivotal – and other emerging businesses. The new layoffs are expected to be “substantially completed” by the end of the first quarter, and fully completed by the end of 2014, EMC said. It has not made public the positions to be cut or the locations. However, as William Blair Analyst Jason Ader told the Register , “Management stated that the restructuring should be viewed more as a rebalancing, as the company moves people into ‘third platform’-oriented parts of the business and reduces headcount in legacy areas of the business.” “Third platform” involves the latest IT, plus mobile and cloud computing. Meanwhile, an EMC solution provider told CRN that the layoffs are focused on “people who sell EMC’s noncore products as the company moves the sales of some of its ancillary products to its core pre-sales personnel.” In its hiring, EMC looks for what Tom Murray, the company’s vice president of global talent acquisition, calls “classic” storage skills , but it also has a strong need for data scientists . The post EMC Restructuring Means Job Cuts Here, Hiring There appeared first on Dice News .

  • Dell Confirms Layoffs; Says Less than 15,000

    Responding to earlier reports that it was looking to cut 15,000 workers from its payroll, struggling Dell says the figure is way off the mark and that a “very small percentage” of its workers are taking a voluntary buyout, according to The Register . Still, the privately held Texas-based company declined to say just how many “very small” amounts to. At the end of its fiscal year in February 2013, Dell had 111,300 employees. In a statement, the company said, “It is accurate that we’ve taken steps to optimize our business, streamline operations and improve its efficiency over the past few years. And, as any prudent business, we’ll continue to review our operations in an effort to remain competitive and best serve customers.” Dell goes on to note that while it is offering voluntary buyouts, it is also hiring in strategic areas, such as hardware and software development , engineering and customer coverage worldwide. Earlier this year, Dell was reportedly looking to cut as many as 9,000 employees from its workforce, largely in its marketing and sales areas. Last year, the company announced what it called a “voluntary separation program” intended to weed out those who didn’t share its “passion and enthusiasm” for life as a private company. The post Dell Confirms Layoffs; Says Less than 15,000 appeared first on Dice News .

  • Computer Sector Ranks No. 5 on Job Cuts

    Although the computer industry generated the fifth largest number of job cuts last year, it’s poised to post strong gains in certain slivers of the sector in the new year, according to a Challenger, Gray & Christmas report released Friday. The computer sector lost 35,136 jobs last year, according to the report, as Hewlett-Packard cut tens of thousands of employees from its payroll and companies like Cisco and Intel also announced large cuts. In the month of December alone, the computer sector lost 5,578 jobs – up more than five times the amount lost the same period a year ago. Despite the grim news, the computer sector managed to exit 2013 with fewer layoffs overall than 2012, notes Challenger Gray. In fact, job cuts were down 24 percent in the computer sector last year and the industry ranked third in terms of hiring announcements, with 26,000 employees added to the payroll.   “Our hiring total represents a tiny fraction of the actual job creation, since most employers do not formally announce hiring plans. Computer science, information technology, electronics manufacturing and telecommunications will continue to be strong job generators in the 2014 economy,” says John Challenger, CEO of the Chicago outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. He added the computer sector will benefit as new companies form and existing companies expand their products and services related to Big Data, cloud computing, and security. Everybody Else For 2013, employers reported 509,051 cuts, down 3 percent from 2012 and the lowest yearly total since 1997, the Challenger data showed. “The recovery has been slow, but every year since the recession has been better than the previous one,” says Challenger. New York-based firms slashed the most jobs in 2013, with cuts of 82,952. California firms came in second with 59,535 cuts. The rate of layoffs at U.S. firms also improved for the month of December, with the number of planned cuts falling 32 percent when compared to November. Employers announced 30,623 layoffs in December, dropping from 45,314 in November, according to Challenger Gray. The last time employers reported a lower number of job cuts was June 2000, when they announced 17,241 planned layoffs. On the other side of the employment spectrum, job growth is showing signs of a slow recovery. The U.S. Department of Labor indicated on Friday that total non-farm payroll employment inched up 74,000. The U.S. non-farm payrolls report was forecasted to add 196,000 jobs in December, according to Reuters. However, the unemployment rate declined to 6.7 percent in December from 7.0 in the previous month. The post Computer Sector Ranks No. 5 on Job Cuts appeared first on Dice News .