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The Drum

IBM scoffs at blogger's claims of mass layoffs

IBM has denied claims made by a Forbes blogger that the tech giant had planned to eliminate more than a quarter of its employees –at least 100,000 people-- worldwide.

The article first appeared on the Forbes website last week, when tech contributor, Robert Cringely divulged his knowledge of the top-secret operation referred to as “Project Chrome.”

“To fix its business problems and speed up its “transformation,” next week about 26 per cent of IBM’s employees will be getting phone calls from their managers. A few hours later a package will appear on their doorsteps with all the paperwork. Project Chrome will hit many of the worldwide services operations. The USA will be hit hard, but so will other locations. IBM’s contractors can expect regular furloughs in 2015,” he wrote.

Cringely added that, “customers and employees alike should expect the worst.”

A blog belonging to IBM Hong Kong posted a blunt article this morning entitled, “Unfounded Rumour.”

The article begins by specifying that the company doesn’t often respond to “rumours” or “speculation,” but will “make an exception when the speculation is stupid.”

The piece goes on by referring to Cringely as an “industry gadfly” and calls his report “ludicrous.”

However, the blog post does hint that there may be some layoffs ahead.

“The fact is that IBM already announced, after 3Q earnings report, that the company would take a $600m charge for restructuring. That’s several thousand people. Not 10,000, or 100,000,” it read.

The post then reminded readers that “IBM currently has job postings for more than 10,000 professionals worldwide,” and that “senior vice president Robert LeBlanc, told Fortune this week that IBM has plans to hire 1,000 cloud professionals.”

In a statement issued to The Drum, IBM echoed sentiments made in the blogpost.

While IBM remains one of the top tech companies in the world, it has struggled to adapt to the quickly growing world of cloud computing. The company’s annual profits fell about $14b in the last three years and expects to see its 11th straight quarter of decreased revenues.