IBM is reportedly conducting new layoffs in its services business, according Bloomberg, citing former and current employees.
In addition, the company completed "at least three" rounds of layoffs in 2016, the most recent in November, according to the employees, who claim "thousands" in total have been laid off and their jobs outsourced overseas.
In a statement to Bloomberg, Doug Shelton, a company spokesman highlighted how more than two-thirds of IBM's services revenue comes from overseas. Even with the "resource actions," as the layoffs are known internally, Big Blue still plans to hire 25,000 people in the next four years. "If we are able to fill these positions, we expect IBM U.S. employment to be up over that period," Shelton said.
The news of the layoffs comes just after IBM Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty publicly pledged to hire about 25,000 U.S. workers and spend $1 billion on training over the next four years.
IBM has been looking to build its cognitive computing, cloud and IoT businesses and shift away from older business platforms. IBM just reported its 19th straight quarter of declining revenue, though its strategic technologies performed well. Changing core business can often result in layoffs, but shifting jobs overseas could be a tougher pill to swallow.
Rometty was recently appointed to the President's Strategic and Policy Forum, a group that will advise President Trump on business issues as part of his plan to "bring back jobs" and "make America great again." Trump has been especially critical of companies that send U.S. jobs overseas, and Rometty made her hiring pledge — perhaps strategically — just days before she and other tech leaders met with Trump in December.
Last spring, IBM announced a plan to "rebalance" its workforce and cut nearly one-third of the U.S. staff. At the same time, the company said it had more than 20,000 open positions.