IBM will cut several thousand jobs to address the current worldwide slump in IT spending, according to its new chief executive.
Sam Palmisano, who took over the reins from Lou Gerstner in March, chose his first address to Wall Street analysts to forewarn them of an imminent headcount reduction and company restructuring in a bid to save between $1bn and $2bn.
According to recent reports in the New York Times, IBM is to cut over 9,000 staff, around three per cent of its global workforce of 320,000, in the first half of this year. Most of the casualties will be in the US.
Palmisano is reported to have hinted to the paper that the number could be higher. "You'll hear more about what we're doing to address those issues," he said.
The IBM chief offered no particular explanation of his plans to tackle the company's ailing semiconductor business, and refused to make predictions as to when the market would recover.
Palmisano concluded that Big Blue "doesn't like this economic environment", but was optimistic that IBM and the IT industry as a whole would come out stronger from the recession.
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