IBM to lay off 111,000 staff this week
IBM will lay off 26% of its workforce this week according to one veteran IBM-watcher, which equates to over 111,000 staffReuters

Update 2: IBM layoffs to being as staff summoned to urgent meetings with managers

Update 1: IBM flatly denies reports it will axe 111,000 jobs

In what is being called the largest corporate jobs cull in history, IBM is set to axe more than 111,000 of its staff this week (26 January 2015).

Dubbed Project Chrome internally at IBM, the process will see 26% of the company's workforce laid off in one fell swoop, meaning that 111,800 people could lose their jobs before the end of January based on IBM's global workforce of 430,000.

News of the job cuts come from veteran Silicon Valley reporter Robert X. Cringely, who recently published a book entitled The Decline and Fall of IBM.

In his report on Project Chrome, Cringely says that those affected by the cuts "will all be gone by the end of February". He said that while there would be a significant number of jobs lost in the US, the axe would fall on all of IBM's locations around the world. The cuts in the US are likely to affect the company's mainframe and storage divisions most dramatically.

Falling revenue

Currently the record for the largest single corporate lay-off is also held by IBM, having fired more than 60,000 of its workforce in 1993, but this would be dwarfed if Cringely's predictions come true.

Last year Microsoft hit the headlines when it had its largest ever jobs cull when it laid off more than 18,000 staff in one go.

IBM's problems were underscored last week when it announced another set of weak quarterly revenue figures, its eleventh straight quarter of declining revenue.

Following those results, CEO Ginni Rometty said the company was in transition but made no mention of the huge job cuts: "We are making significant progress in our transformation, continuing to shift IBM's business to higher value, and investing and positioning ourselves for the longer term."

IBM's problems stem from the fact that customers are moving their storage infrastructure to the cloud, meaning they no longer need physical data centres on site and therefore don't need service contracts with IBM to help maintain them - a business which accounts for two-thirds of IBM's revenue.

In light of all these financial issues and job culling, it was announced that Rometty would be pocketing a $4.5 million bonus plus millions in company stock for her performance in 2015.