Edinburgh jobs fear as IBM wields global axe

IGM jobs in Edinburgh are under threat. Picture: Graham Hamilton
IGM jobs in Edinburgh are under threat. Picture: Graham Hamilton
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JOBS at IBM in Edinburgh are under threat as the computer company prepares to cut a quarter of its workforce worldwide in what has been described as the biggest corporate staff cull in history.

More than 110,000 jobs could disappear from the company’s offices around the world in a massive restructuring exercise, according to the US Forbes business website.

Some 20,000 are employed in 24 offices the UK, including 3000 in Scotland, based in Edinburgh and Greenock. The website said the company planned to merge its three main arms – hardware, software and support – and reorganise staff into teams based on their roles, such as sales or research.

IBM, which once dominated the computer industry, set the previous record for redundancies, cutting 60,000 staff in 1993.

The company has set aside £400 million for redundancies, which it described as “workforce rebalancing” after three-month sales figures came in £444m lower than expected. IBM, however, sought to play down the scale of the potential job losses. A company spokesman said: “IBM does not comment on rumours, even ridiculous or baseless ones.”