Moret: Reported IBM layoffs won’t affect BR center

One week after a blogger for Forbes.com reported IBM was planning to cut 26% of its total workforce—a staggering 112,000 employees—national websites are confirming some IBM employees in North Carolina and New York have received pink slips. The company, however, has denied the layoffs will reach anywhere near the previously reported estimate and instead will be in the range of “several thousand” employees.

“The facts are that IBM announced the company has taken a $600 million charge for workforce rebalancing,” IBM spokesman Clint Roswell tells Daily Report. “This equates to several thousand people. … As we have in recent years, and as our clients would expect, IBM continues to remix its skills to match current and emerging client requirements.”

IBM will not comment on whether the “workforce rebalancing” will have any impact on staffing levels at the IBM Services and Technology Center here in Baton Rouge, which is operating out of a temporary location on Essen Lane while its new headquarters building downtown is under construction. However, Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret says the local center will not be affected by any layoffs that may be going on elsewhere in the company.

“IBM is full steam ahead in Baton Rouge, and we are actively assisting the company with recruiting for a significant number of openings,” Moret says. “Like any major, diversified corporation, IBM is involved in a variety of different businesses with different growth characteristics. Fortunately, Baton Rouge is a strategic growth location for the company.”

When IBM announced the new Technology Services Center in 2013, its plans called for hiring 300 local employees by the end of 2014, 500 workers by the end of this year, and 800 workers by the end of 2016. —Stephanie Riegel

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