IBM Hong Kong gets more diplomatic about denying report of 100,000 looming layoffs

012715blog ibm hong kong

Yesterday, Impact@IBMHK, “the official IBM Hong Kong blog,” went ballistic on longtime tech pundit Robert Cringley over his reporting that Big Blue stands ready to ax some 100,000 employees in a massive corporate reorg code-named Project Chrome.

Today, under the cover of equally unequivocal but more temperate denials from IBM spokespeople in the U.S., IBM Hong Kong has softened its tone.

Here’s what the IMB Hong Kong blog said yesterday:

“IBM does not comment on rumors or speculation. However, we'll make an exception when the speculation is stupid. That's the case here, where an industry gadfly is trying to make noise about how IBM is about to lay off 26 percent of its workforce. That's over 100,000 people, which is totally ludicrous.”

That post is now gone and has been replaced by this:

“IBM does not comment on rumors, even those that are without foundation. As can be seen from our public earnings statements, IBM has already announced the company has taken a $600 million charge for workforce rebalancing. This equates to several thousand people, a mere fraction of what’s been reported.”

I’m assuming that someone received a stern talking to from someone.

For his part, when I contacted him yesterday, Cringley was insistent that IBM later this week would be eating its words, be they of the insulting or more polite variety.

I find that difficult to imagine, given the forcefulness of IBM’s various denials.

But this much we have learned for certain: IBM does indeed comment on rumors.

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