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IBM reorganises staff, eliminating positions in marketing and communications

IBM warns employees against WFH, says return to the office or lose career opportunities - hrtalk

IBM, the tech giant, has announced layoffs in its marketing and communications division as part of a wider workforce restructuring aimed at automation and emerging technologies. The number of affected employees has not been disclosed.

The announcement comes after CEO Arvind Krishna’s indication in May 2023 that the company would shift towards AI, suggesting a pause in hiring for roles that can be replaced by automation. IBM has already eliminated positions through voluntary redundancy programs, with a focus on streamlining operations in Europe.

The announcement was made by Jonathan Adashek, the chief communications officer, in a brief meeting. This reflects IBM’s strategy to adapt to a changing market landscape, which may involve increased use of AI to boost efficiency, potentially mirroring the plan announced last year to replace nearly 8,000 jobs with AI-powered solutions.

Despite the layoffs, IBM expects to maintain its overall headcount by the end of the year. This aligns with comments made by CFO James Kavanaugh in January, who suggested similar restructuring costs to 2023 when the company reduced its workforce by 3,900.

IBM’s decision reflects broader trends within the tech industry. In 2024 alone, over 200 tech companies laid off nearly 50,000 employees, including giants like Alphabet, Amazon, and Unity. The industry is undergoing a significant shift, likely due to economic uncertainties and post-pandemic adjustments. Additionally, IBM may be facing pressure from stronger players like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon in the competitive AI space.

As the industry evolves, IBM’s restructuring efforts aim to position the company for future success by leveraging AI and streamlining operations. While the immediate impact falls on marketing and communications employees, this move signifies a larger strategic shift within IBM.