IBM hires 30,000 staff as non-cloud workers are axed

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Internal email describes massive hiring spree as IBM’s ‘resource planning’ scoops up skills for cloud and cognitive computing

IBM has reportedly hired more than 30,000 new employees this year as part of a cloud growth plan hatched by CEO Ginni Rometty.

The revelation comes just weeks after IBM said it would lay off workers in the Netherlands as part of a focus shift towards cloud and artificial intelligence. Other large job cuts across Europe and the US have previously been made over the last year.

IBM itself calls the layoffs “resource balancing” in a leaked document, and the Netherlands is the first country to be hit as part of a plan that looks to cull staff who have skills IBM deems irrelevant.

IBMAn internal email, obtained by eWeek, reads:

“In the second quarter we also continued to make meaningful progress in how IBMers work and contribute to this success. With Checkpoint, all IBMers are getting and giving faster and more frequent feedback.

“130,000 IBMers have been trained in agile, 70,000 IBMers have chosen to work with Mac products and more than 250,000 IBMers are using Box.”

The email goes on: “Almost all IBMers participated in Cognitive Build, helping 20,000 colleagues collaborate on nearly 3,000 cognitive start-up projects. And we continue to invest in our people, with IBMers benefiting from 9 million hours of learning in the first half, and with more than 30,000 new IBMers joining the company.”

While IBM does not disclose further information about the positions it removes to make room for new hires, in a statement earlier this year the company said: “IBM is aggressively transforming its business to lead in a new era of cognitive and cloud computing.”

To this end, IBM currently has more than 25,000 open positions, many in these key skills areas. “If we meet our hiring targets, we expect our employee numbers to be roughly the same at year-end as they were in 2015,” said Big Blue.

New positions are being created around IBM’s cloud platform and artificial intelligence divisions like Watson.