Virginia Rometty, IBM
IBM dismisses Forbes report on largest ever layoff.Reuters

International Business Machines (IBM) on Monday, dismissed rumours surrounding a Forbes report claiming the company is to cut about 1,12,000 jobs.

The report read that technology firm would cut about 26% of its workforce, which would be one of the largest-ever layoffs. It had 4,31,212 employees as of end-2013. 

The IT company said in its earnings report, released a week ago, that it would trim its staff by 'several thousand' employees, adding that those affected would represent a "small fraction," of Forbes's claim, IBM told Reuters in an emailed statement.

The company has been trying to reshape its over-four-lakh-strong employee base, by laying off people in certain business areas, even as it recruits staff in new growth businesses.

Last week, Silicon Valley technology gossip columnist Robert Cringely wrote that IBM planned to go for a sudden 26% cut to its global workforce, rather than choosing to do so gradually.

Workforce Rebalancing

"IBM does not comment on rumours, even ridiculous or baseless ones," read the company email. "If anyone had checked information readily available from our public earnings statements, or had simply asked us, they would know that IBM has already announced the company has just taken a $600 million charge for workforce rebalancing. This equates to several thousand people, a small fraction of what's been reported."

Meanwhile, Bernstein research analyst Toni Sacconaghi estimates that 8,000 employees could be affected by the current move, in line with recent years.

In a note to his clients, he said that over the last seven years the IT company has taken an annual restructuring charge ranging from $450 million to $1.5 billion, adding employee layoffs to be in the range of 6,500 and 21,500 a year, for the corresponding period.