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IBM Is Cutting Jobs In Its Marketing And Communications Departments

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IBM Is Cutting Jobs In Its Marketing And Communications Departments

(CTN News) – A person with knowledge of the matter said IBM informed employees in its marketing and communications division that it is reducing staffing levels.

In a meeting with staff in the unit, IBM’s chief communications officer, Jonathan Adashek, made the announcement, according to a person who asked not to be identified due to the nature of the news.

According to Arvind Krishna, CEO, the company is “massively upskilling all of its employees on artificial intelligence,” following the announcement of a plan in August to automate nearly 8,000 jobs. According to IBM’s earnings call in January of last year, 3,900 positions were being eliminated.

In its fourth quarter earnings, IBM reported a workforce rebalancing charge that represented a very small percentage of IBM’s global workforce, and the company expects to exit 2024 with roughly the same level of employment as it entered.

In addition to these latest cuts, the tech industry has undergone another round of downsizing. According to the website Layoffs.fyi, approximately 204 technology companies have cut nearly 50,000 jobs so far this year. In January, Alphabet, Amazon, and Unity announced the most layoffs since March.

Over the past few years, IBM has returned to growth, but expansion has remained muted. Despite higher earnings than expected, revenue increased 4% from a year earlier in the fourth quarter. James Kavanaugh, CFO, spoke on the earnings call about workforce rebalancing.

A major focus of the company’s efforts has been to fit into the emerging AI narrative, which has been a hot topic across the technology industry since OpenAI released ChatGPT in late 2022. An announcement was made in May announcing WatsonX, a machine-learning development studio that enables companies to “train, tune, and deploy” machine-learning models.

In IBM’s earnings call in January, it was disclosed that the book of business for generative AI and Watsonx products had doubled since the third quarter of 2023, when it was in the low hundreds of millions. AI in the enterprise is a competitive field. In the AI race, IBM has been viewed as falling behind competitors such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and others, particularly when it comes to making profits from its offerings.

I believe that this is a fair criticism, as we were slow to monetize and make consumable the learnings from Watson’s victory on Jeopardy,” Krishna told in December. In my opinion, we made the mistake of going after very large, monolithic answers, which the world was not yet prepared to accept.

IBM sold its Watson Health unit to private equity firm Francisco Partners nearly two years ago for an undisclosed sum.

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