IBM Job Cuts Continue

Big Blue confirms layoffs in U.S. research facilities; denies reports of 4,000 cut in Germany.

IBM Thursday confirmed that the company laid off about 160 employees from its Yorktown Heights, N.Y., and Almaden, Calif., research facilities as part of ongoing, companywide cost-cutting.

Officials, however, denied reports that as many as 4,000 employees had been cut from the companys operations in Germany.

A spokesman in Yorktown Heights said the cuts there were "consistent with" cost-cutting and layoffs taking place elsewhere at IBM. He said the job cuts were accompanied by elimination of research projects that were considered no longer strategic to the company. IBM declined to identify the canceled projects.

IBM previously confirmed layoffs last month at its facilities in Endicott, East Fishkill and Somers, N.Y.; Essex Junction, Vt.; and Research Triangle Park, N.C. While the company has not confirmed total layoff figures to date, observers have estimated the number at close to 7,000 worldwide. Analysts following the company have speculated that IBM could end up reducing overall headcount by up to 20,000.

The cuts at Yorktown Heights and Almaden leave IBM with about 3,000 researchers. A spokesman declined to say if more research layoffs are planned.

Meanwhile, IBM officials denied reports of as many as 4,000 employees laid off this week from the companys unit in Germany. The figure, reported by labor union officials representing employees at IBM Deutschland GmBH, is "nothing but speculation and is not accurate," according to a spokesman. The spokesman did say, however, that the company has initiated a voluntary reduction-in-force program affecting about 300 employees in Germany.

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