IBM to shed 1,000 consulting jobs

IBM Global Service will eliminate less than 1 percent of its work force as part of a periodic business reassessment.

IBM on Monday notified more than 1,000 workers in its consulting and services business that their jobs are being eliminated as part of an effort to make sure worker skills match with customer needs.

Less than 1 percent of the 150,000 jobs in IBM Global Services are being eliminated, IBM spokeswoman Jan Butler said Monday. Workers whose jobs are being cut will have 30 days to find work elsewhere at the company or will be terminated with severance, Butler said.

"We're doing a skills rebalancing," Butler said. "As a result, some jobs will be eliminated."

Butler said IBM periodically makes such reassessments of its business and said the cuts are not related to the global slowdown in technology spending. Butler said IBM could not comment on its just completed quarter but noted that business in recent quarters has been strong.

"We had an excellent first quarter," Butler said.

IBM has fared comparatively well through the recent downturn, avoiding widespread layoffs this year. Meanwhile, rivals Compaq Computer, Dell Computer, Hewlett-Packard and Gateway have all made significant job cuts.

Butler noted that IBM continues to hire in other areas of its consulting business.

"We will, in fact, end the year with more people than we started (with)," she said.