IBM and HP mum over job cuts

IBM New Zealand is keeping mum over possible job losses in this country in the wake of reports of up to 400 layoffs in Australia and confirmed redundancies in the US.

IBM New Zealand is keeping mum over possible job losses in this country in the wake of reports of up to 400 layoffs in Australia and confirmed redundancies in the US.

HP is similarly quiet about potential redundancies following its May 7 merger with Compaq.

IBM spokesmen in Auckland and Wellington either declined to comment or failed to return Computerworld's telephone calls. IBM in Australia also refuses to confirm numbers, but union leaders there speak of up to 400 redundancies. IBM Australia replies it will try and "redeploy" staff from its badly-hit global services division.

Last week, IBM laid off around 750 staff at four US plants after poor first-quarter results saw net income drop 32%. A US source says the layoffs would affect 2% to 3% of IBM's employees, or between 6400 and 9600 workers. The company has 320,000 employees worldwide.

Locally, IDC New Zealand and IBM's New Zealand spokesman, Laurie Edwards agree that Big Blue, which employs 900 in New Zealand, has had good years locally with growing revenue. IDC believes this may offset what is happening globally.

Hewlett-Packard is due to announced details of its workforce reduction programme outside the US in a global briefing this week.

HP New Zealand CEO Russell Hewitt says HP has been making good progress since the merger and has a "pretty good view" of its future structure.

Hewitt declined to comment on how many of the firm's current 600 Kiwi staff may go, describing this week's announcement as "some good stuff".

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