IBM Starts Cutting Russian Workforce

International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) announced that it has begun laying off all of its Russian employees nearly two months after the company suspended its operations in Russia.

“This process will commence today and result in the separation of our local workforce. Our colleagues in Russia have, through no fault of their own, endured months of stress and uncertainty,” said IBM CEO Arvind Krishna.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, technology giant IBM halted its operations in Russia back in March, joining a slew of other Western companies that elected to either halt sales or pull out entirely. 

IBM chose to continue to pay its Russian employees despite its suspension of operations in the country. 

However, IBM struggled as US sanctions on Russian banks have made it more difficult for the corporation to pay its Russian staff.

Krishna elaborated that as the “Consequences of the war continue to mount and uncertainty about its long-term ramifications grows,” an “Orderly wind-down” was a “Necessary and natural” step for the company’s best interests. 

Federal banks, energy corporations, and Russian Railways were among IBM’s high-profile customers in Russia. In 2019, the company conducted its Think Summit in Moscow, highlighting its numerous Russian clients.

In 2021, Russia accounted for about 0.5 percent of IBM’s overall revenue, or $300 million out of $57.4 billion in total revenue.

Krishna expressed that “IBM will continue to stand by them and take all reasonable steps to provide support and make their transition as orderly as possible.”

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