IBM hasn't made an official statement yet regarding how many people it plans to fire but it will be at least in the thousands as the company plans to take a one-time restructuring charge of around $580 million.
Still, IBM's disappointing fourth-quarter earnings report and rumors of a major re-org have had Big Blue sites around the globe bracing for layoffs. Australia's Technology Spectator speculated that as many as 400 positions may potentially be affected there. Meanwhile, India's Economic Times reported that IBM's total headcount on the subcontinent is expected to shrink to around 100,000 by the end of March, down from 165,000 in 2011.
If India has been particularly hard-hit by recent layoffs at IBM, however, US employees won't escape this latest round unscathed. On Wednesday, the Alliance@IBM website, a forum for unionized IBM employees in the US, began receiving its first reports of "Resource Actions" – sugarcoated IBM-speak meaning someone got the axe.
"The cuts have started in the US and are quickly spreading," griped one commenter. "I received my call this morning. I received a 3 rating for the first time in my entire career. It was completely unfounded with no documentation to substantiate. 18 years with the company and they totally betray and demoralize before they let you go."