IBM Encourages Employees to ‘Raise Your Hand’ for Voluntary Layoffs

In a move characterized as “transformative,” IBM is urging its employees to proactively volunteer for layoffs as the company embarks on another round of global job cuts.

During a recent Q4 earnings call, IBM introduced the term ‘resource action’ to signify its ongoing restructuring efforts. According to reports, the company aims to streamline its operations, particularly targeting positions in Europe.

IBM’s Chief Financial Officer, James Kavanaugh, revealed that the company is striving to achieve a savings goal of $3 billion annually by the end of 2024, representing a substantial increase from its original target.

Reports indicate that a significant portion of the reduction target is focused on Enterprise Operations & Support (EO&S), Q2C missions, and Finance & Operations.

While approximately 50% of the reduction goal will impact staffing levels across Europe, IBM is emphasizing voluntary redundancy over involuntary terminations for employees who wish to remain.

An IBM spokesperson clarified, “In 4Q earnings last month, IBM disclosed a workforce rebalancing charge that would represent a very low single-digit percentage of IBM’s global workforce, and we expect to exit 2024 at roughly the same level of employment as we entered with.”

The spokesperson further explained, “This rebalancing is driven by increases in productivity and our continued push to align our workforce with the skills most in demand among our clients, especially areas such as AI and hybrid cloud.”

The initiative underscores IBM’s commitment to optimizing its workforce while aligning with evolving market demands, particularly in fields like artificial intelligence (AI) and hybrid cloud technology.