IBM CEO Ginni Rometty. (Getty)
  • IBM reportedly axed as many as 100,000 employees in the last few years because it wanted to appear "cool" and "trendy" like Amazon or Google, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
  • IBM has been hit by several age discrimination suits filed by former employees.
  • Asked about the accusation, the company said IBM has been "reinvented to target higher value opportunities for our clients."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.


Hoping to come across to millennials as "cool" and "trendy" like Amazon or Google, IBM may have axed as many as 100,000 employees in the last few years.

The charge came up in the deposition of a former IBM vice president in an ongoing age discrimination suit, according to a Bloomberg report.

Asked for a comment on the report, IBM told Business Insider in an email, "We have reinvented IBM in the past five years to target higher value opportunities for our clients."

IBM has been hit by several lawsuits accusing the tech giants of discrimination against older workers.

In one of the civil cases, Alan Wild, a former IBM human resources vice president, said the company "laid off 50,000 to 100,000 employees in just the last several years," according to Bloomberg, citing a court document filed Tuesday in Texas.

Wild said in his deposition that IBM wanted to demonstrate to millennials that the company wasn't "an old fuddy duddy organisation," and that it hoped to come across as "as [a] cool, trendy organisation" like search giant Google or online retail behemoth Amazon.

"To do that, IBM set out to slough off large portions of its older workforce using rolling layoffs over the course of several years," the court filing said, according to the report.

In its email, IBM said it "hires 50,000 employees each year, and spends nearly a half-billion dollars on training our team."

"We also receive more than 8,000 job applications every day, the highest rate that we've ever experienced, so there's clear excitement about IBM's strategy and direction for the future," the company said.

IBM is a major player in the enterprise tech market. But the company has struggled against newer rivals, led by Amazon and Google, which dominate the fast-growing cloud computing market - and it's seen its revenues shrink continuously for the last seven or so years.

IBM had 350,600 workers worldwide at the end of 2018, down 19% from 2013.

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